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French court orders fines in Kate's topless paparazzi case

  • Britain-Royal-Baby-46

    Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge smile as they walk through the memorial garden in Kensington Palace, London.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Britain-Royal-Baby-1-2

    Britain's Prince William, second left, and his wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, second right, and their children, Prince George, left, and Princess Charlotte, right are on their way to board a plane in Hamburg, Germany.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

NANTERRE, France — A French court on Tuesday fined photographers and gossip magazine executives over topless photos of the Duchess of Cambridge. The court also ordered the defendants to pay damages to Kate and her husband Prince William, but the amount was significantly lower than that sought by the royal family.

The court in a Paris suburb ruled Tuesday that three photographers and three newspaper executives invaded the privacy of the duchess, formerly known as Kate Middleton, by taking and publishing the photos.

Two executives of French gossip magazine Closer were each given the maximum 45,000 euro ($53,500) fine for such an offense.

In addition, the two executives, along with two photographers working with a celebrity photo agency, were collectively ordered to pay 50,000 euros ($59,500) in damages to Kate and the same amount to William.

The amount is far below the about 1.5 million euros in damages sought by the royal couple. Their lawyer Jean Veil said it will be up to Kate and William to interpret the outcome.

Paul-Albert Iweins, lawyer for Closer magazine, called the fines exaggerated.

The couple, who didn’t attend the verdict, had filed a complaint after the photos were published in Closer and a regional newspaper in 2012, the year after their wedding.

The pictures of Kate were taken with telephoto lenses while she and her husband apparently were sunbathing on a patio at a private estate in France’s southern Provence region.

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