HollywoodLife.com spoke with a top French media law attorney who tells us that ‘Closer’ magazine broke French privacy laws by publishing these topless photos. Read on to find out on what grounds William and Kate can sue!
Kate Middleton and Prince William are suing Closer magazine for plastering topless pics of her vacationing in the south of France and HollywoodLife.com can explain exactly how this notorious magazine got away with it in the first place!
We spoke with top France-based media attorney Avi Bitton, who tells us that publishing a photograph of anyone without their permission in France, regardless of their stature, is absolutely illegal.
“Under French law there is a right to privacy like in England and the US and it is protected by law,” Avi says. “In France that image of someone is part of their privacy. If for instance you take a picture of someone shopping on the street, one could think that it’s not private because you are shopping in public. But in France, taking this picture and publishing it is a breach of privacy because your picture is part of your image and your privacy.”
Avi explains that there are two issues, first off, the picture was taken without Kate’s permission — first breach of privacy. Next, he actually sold the photo to Closer, which is another breach because he’s distributing this without her approval.
“The legal issue is not whether she is topless or not,” Avi explains. “Even if he had just taken a picture of her face without her authorization, whether or not her face is well-known, it’s not the point. It’s unauthorized! The damage is much more because she is topless because she is part of the royal family. She has an image and reputation to protect.”
Kate and William are reportedly suing Closer, but they will have to do it in France because it’s under French law. Unfortunately, the courts don’t fine the magazines very much for something like this, and it’s unlikely the magazine will be shut down.
If Kate had been photographed topless at a private residence in the United States, it would not be illegal for a magazine to publish the pictures, only if she was in plain sight.
“The issue is that any place you can be seen from, you can be photographed from,” Barry Chase, a Miami-based attorney at ChaseLawyers tells HollywoodLife.com. “You’re subjecting yourself to being seen there. If someone tries to come into your house, or the actual place she was at there were trees and the photographer snuck onto shore and crouched in the bottom of the bushes [it's an invasion of privacy].”
— Chloe Melas
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