Topless Kate case: Was it an inside job?
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, displayed a wide range of styles and fashion houses on her nine-day tour of Asia and South Pacific. It was what she was not wearing just before the tour began that has caused an uproar in Britain and magazines continue to publish topless photos.(GettyImages)
The case of the chateau shutterbug and the topless duchess gets a little more curious by the day.
French police are now checking out the possibility that the episode which has resulted in an explosion of topless photos of Kate was an 'inside job.' After all, someone leaked information about the couple's whereabouts, and even the inventive paparazzi might have needed some guidance about where to shoot the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge should they choose to be out in the open.
"Officially, the crime scene is the chateau and its environs," a source told the Sun tabloid in London.
The photographer shot the offending photos on Sept. 5 from about 600 metres away on a public road outside the Chateau d'Autet, owned by the Queen's nephew Viscount Linley. If the phantom photographer is ever discovered, he faces up to a year in jail and a $57,000 (Cdn) fine. (Check out the scene of the crime below.)
Then again, perhaps he is not much of a phantom. One member of the paparazzi community, Pascal Rostain, says he knows exactly who took the topless photos of Kate. In fact, he claims, it was an Englishman living in the south of France.
That would be delicious irony for publications who have been criticized by British media and politicians for publishing the topless photos.
Rostain says the photographer in question -- he won't reveal the name (even paparazzi have scruples apparently) -- was hired by Closer magazine, which was the first to publish the photos last week.
"For his efforts, he did not earn a lot," said Rostain. "He could have sold them for 10,000 euros. But in fact he was just paid wages for going to take them."
If that is true, then it potentially puts Closer in a difficult position, since that would mean they owned the copyright to the pictures, as opposed to the photographer retaining the rights. Under the terms of the injunction placed against Closer last week by a French court, they are not allowed to sell the photos to publications in other countries.
Since the photos came out in Closer last Friday, magazines in Ireland, Denmark, Sweden and Italy have also published the pictures.
The intrigue will likely deepen before answers are found.
Where is Columbo or Hercule Poirot when you need them?
Some recommended reading (from the Scottish Daily Record): Prince William and Prince Harry need to face reality.