Approximately one hundred Internet years ago—in September 2012—French publications Closer and La Provence published sneak paparazzi photos of Kate Middleton sunbathing topless while on vacation in the south of France. Now six people are going on trial over those pics.
The trial starts today, in France; The Telegraph reports:
Laurence Pieau, the editor of Closer in France, Ernesto Mauri, chief executive of the Mondadori group which owns the magazine, and Cyril Moreau and Dominique Jacovides, two Paris-based agency photographers suspected of having taken the topless photos, will appear on charges of invasion of privacy and complicity.
Both photogs say it wasn’t them, but of course that defense won’t really work for the publications in question. (At the time, Jezebel reported on the existence of the photos but did not publish them.) When they ran the photos, Closer editor Laurence Pieau said the pics weren’t in the “least shocking,” which is France for you. The Windsors were most displeased and begged to differ, quickly filing suit. The New York Times reported at the time:
Another statement from the couple’s office called the publication of the photographs of the Duchess of Cambridge “grotesque and totally unjustifiable,” comparing the images to “the worst excesses of the press and paparazzi during the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, and all the more upsetting to the duke and duchess for being so.”
The images of the duchess were not, initially at least, published in Britain, where newspaper standards and practices have come under an unaccustomed and fierce spotlight after the phone hacking scandal that has focused primarily on Rupert Murdoch’s British newspapers.
The case has been making its way through the courts since. Prince William’s office declined to comment on the matter; neither of the royals is expected to attend the trial. (Obviously.) They’re asking for €1.5 million in damages.