French court upholds Kate Middleton topless photos fine

PARIS — A French court of appeals has upheld a ruling Wednesday that two directors of French celebrity magazine Closer should be fined a maximum 45,000 euros ($52,500) for breaching the privacy of Kate Middleton, when publishing topless photos of the Duchess of Cambridge sunbathing back in 2012.

The Versailles appeals court upheld the Sept. 2017 decision in Nanterre to hand the maximum possible fine under French law to Laurence Pieau, an editor of Closer's French edition, and Ernesto Mauri, chief executive of Mondadori, the media group that publishes the weekly.

The court also upheld fines for the two photographers who snapped the duchess of 10,000 euros each.

Last September, the office of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said they were pleased at the ruling as they "wished to make the point strongly that this kind of unjustified intrusion should not happen."

The timing of last year's ruling had particular resonance in Britain, as it was shortly after the 20th anniversary of the death of Prince William's mother, Princess Diana, who was being pursued by paparazzi when her car crashed in a tunnel in Paris.

The damages were short of the 1.5 million euros ($1.75 million) hoped for by the couple.

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