09/16/2012

Will and Kate go to war over topless photos

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Catherine, Duchess  of Cambridge and Prince William pose wearing traditional island clothing during a visit to the Governor General's house as part of their Diamond Jubilee tour of the Far East on Sunday in Honiara, Guadalcanal Island. (Getty Images)

The ultimate in royal peep shows is now an all-out war, with Prince William leading the charge.

As the Royal Family braces for another blast of 'topless Kate' photos on Monday from the Italian gossip magazine Chi, William -- with the full backing of the Queen and his father Charles -- is unleashing an army of lawyers on the people and publications who have pushed him past the brink of paparazzi tolerance.

152071452On Monday, lawyers for the couple will make a formal criminal complaint of breach of privacy and trespass at a court hearing outside Paris. They are also asking for an injunction banning the French magazine Closer -- which published topless photos of the duchess on Friday -- from printing any more pictures and removing any on its website.

The prince has told aides he wants those reponsible for the photos that were captured while he and Kate were on private holiday to be jailed, and that he would be happy to give evidence at their trial.

Meanwhile, the editor of Chi, Alfonso Signorini, tweeted that "not even a direct call from the Queen" could stop him from publishing photos. The celebrity magazine will hit the streets with a 26-page section that contains some 50 photos.

At least 200 pictures were taken of the Duke and Duchess sunbathing by one or more photographers from a road that was perhaps 600 metres away from the French chateau where the couple was staying courtesy of the Queen's nephew, Viscount Linley. The getaway came just before they left last week for their nine-day tour of Asia and the South Pacific. 

“They will take any action they can within the law to seek redress," an aide for William and Kate told reporters. "They’ve always said they don’t have an issue with the mainstream media just doing their job, but they have always had an issue with ­paparazzi whose work intrudes on their privacy.”

152071007The court action is a rare legal move by the Royal Family, but it indicates the depth of their rage over what they see as a clear invasion of privacy.

"It is the first airing and we will be seeking an injunction from them using the pictures and it will lead to a longer court case where damages will be sought," said a royal spokesperson.

If successful, Closer's editor, Laurence Pieau, could go to jail for a year and be fined the maximum $57,000 (Canadian).

Signorini didn't seem at all worried about his own looming battle with the Palace. He told London's Observer that his magazine will have "normal topless shots, except Kate happens to be the future Queen."

"They are not scandalous, there are no unpublishable pictures. It is just a huge scoop," said Signorini, who said he selected the photos from among the 200 offered. "There are no amorous moments, no kisses, at most William places his hand on her head affectionately at one point."

Chi is no stranger to printing provocative pictures of celebrities, with and without clothes. It is also the magazine which caused a privacy storm when it published a photo of Prince William's mother, Princess Diana, as she lay dying after a car crash in a Paris tunnel in 1997.

Chi and Closer are both published by Mondadori, an Italian company controlled by the former prime minister of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi.

The internet is now littered with the grainy photos contained in Closer. The cover of Monday's Chi is also in circulation, showing a topless Kate with the headline (in Italian): “Scandal at court: the Queen is naked.”

The Irish Daily Star has likewise unleashed plenty of backlash after publishing the Closer pictures in their Saturday edition. Richard Desmond, head of Northern & Shell, the British company that co-owns the paper, immediately expressed his outrage and began plans to dissolve his partnership with the paper.

The Palace issued its own statement, saying the paper's only motive for publishing the photos was "greed." It has called upon the media to use "common sense and decency" and not publish any topless photographs.

Irish Daily Star editor Mike O'Kane was unrepentent. "I did this as a service to our readers, I'm a little taken aback by the reaction in the UK," he told the BBC.

"It only seems to be an issue in the UK because she is your future queen. But from our point of view in Ireland, Kate Middleton is just another of the fantastic line of celebrities."

In Greece, the front page of the newspaper Eleftheros Typos had two photos of Kate, one showing her topless.

Former British Prime Minister John Major weighed in on the topic-du-jour on the BBC on Sunday: "It is the action of a peeping tom. In our country we prosecute peeping toms. That is exactly what they have done and they have been peeping with long lenses from a long way away. They are very distasteful."

Much as the Palace would like it, putting these pictures into a vault somewhere, never to be seen again, is not going to happen. If Kate could turn back the clock, she would undoubtedly have kept her top on.

But this is not just about embarrassing photos anymore. This has become the line in the sand for Prince William and Kate and their expectation of privacy. They will make their point in court, though history suggests this battle will not be end there, not by a long shot.

MEANWHILE, BACK ON THE SOLOMON ISLANDS ...

Thousands came out to cheer the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as they landed on the Solomon Islands on Sunday.

2012-09-16T114324Z_01_SIN602_RTRMDNP_3_-BRITAIN-ROYALSStanding atop a Toyota van that had be decked out to looked like a warship, the couple showed no sign of the controversy swirling around them as they smiled and waved at the crowds in Honiara, the capital of the Commonwealth nation.

The couple was given a traditional Tukuwaka welcome at the airport by men dressed in loin cloths and carrying sticks. Kate wore a dress by Scottish designer Jonathan Saunders and a hat by Jane Taylor.

Later, at a banquet hosted by Governor-General Frank Kabui (right), Kate threw out her fashion script and, instead of the dress she had planned to wear, changed into a strapless pink and orange dress that had been given to her by her hosts. William, meanwhile, wore a blue island shirt that was also a gift from the Islands.

In a speech, William praised the islanders.

"This land is the most beautiful place imaginable, and the people of the Solomon islands are amongst the most gracious and friendly we have ever met. The Queen told us this would be so, and as with so much else in her long reign, Her Majesty was absolutely right."

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Prince William and Kate watch traditional dancing as they arrive at Honiara International Airport on Sunday. (Getty Images)

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Prince William and his wife Kate are driven on the back of a truck decorated like as a canoe after their arrival in Honiara on Sunday (AP Photo)

MORE: More photos emerge despite lawsuit

 

 

Comments

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it is disgusting that some creepy lowlifes did this but at the same time ya gotta wonder why kate would do this in public knowing this can happen anywhere anytime
it is a crazy world we live that is forever changing because of the internet when it comes to money nothing is sacred to some people

I am very sorry for William and Kate. This is their business and none of ours. The same for Harry. To hurt and insult William and Kate in this manner, the paparazzi are even beneath the gutter. I think that place is called hell, and even hell is too good for their paparazzi type of evil.

The paparazzi killed Diana. They destroyed Sarah Ferguson. Now they are attacking William and Kate. I refused to look at the photo's of Harry. I will refuse to look at any photo's of William and Kate. I refuse to support scum, such as the paparazzi.

In Canada, stalking is illegal. The photographers would be peeping Tom's or, considered sexual deviants, and thrown in the brig. Those type of paparazzi, are sick in the head, they get off on this type of spying. They should be forced to have, a mental evaluation.

Are there no limits to the extremes the press will go to make a buck! It is shameful that the Prince is once again treated as a sacrificial lamb by the press. Unfortunately, this time the line has been drawn and he will hopefully bring down these gossip rags once and for all.

It makes me wonder how many of these photographers and publishers would welcome people taking pictures from the road while they relaxed on their private property in a state of undress.
Someone being topless is not news, regardless of who they are (celebrity or not). People should be able to feel comfortable in their home or while on vacation with no fear of prying eyes.
Celebrities should not be put on pedestals - they are regular people who do regular things in their lives and people need to butt out.

Hope, Prince William succeeds big with the suit against both the French and Italian peeping holes, and learn their lesson once and for all.
If it was at a public place, all would be fair and square, but in a private house, it doesn't matter if they are royals or not, they are still individuals deserving their privacy, period.

This was a horrible thing to do and I hope Kate and William win both their court cases - criminal and legal - in a big way. I saw a photo of the villa where they stayed far away from that infamous road on BBC's website and was surprised that even with a long lens camera, photos with discernable faces were actually possible. It's a lot further from the road than most people realize. I too would have thought I was in a completely private setting had I been on that balcony. There is no "view" from the road as the magazine erroneously and self-servingly claims. This type of stalking is perverted and twisted, and the criminals working for that publication need to be punished.

They exist for your entertainment ppl, enjoy good looks (naked as well) for a challenge!

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