A French court has granted £91,700 ($119,000) in punitive damages to Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton five years after topless photos of her were published in a French magazine.
In 2012, French magazine, Closer, published topless shots of the duchess taken while she was on vacation with her husband, Prince William, in Provence, France at a chateau owned by Queen Elizabeth II’s nephew, Lord Linley.
On Tuesday, a court in Nanterre, France ordered the magazine to pay the amount, which equates to roughly $120,000, after ruling the images had breached the couple’s privacy.
All six defendants in the trial, which began in May, were convicted of charges related to the images.
Judge Florence Lasserre-Jeannin instructed regional newspaper La Provence, which printed additional non-nude images of Middleton in swimwear, to pay €3,000 in damages.
Meanwhile, Ernesto Mauri, Mondadori group chief executive, which produces Closer, received a maximum fine of €45,000 for using a document obtained by breach of privacy.
Laurence Pieau, the magazine’s editor in France, was also fined €45,000 after being found to be complicit with the publication.
“The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are pleased that the court has found in their favour and the matter is now closed,” a Kensington Palace spokesperson said in a statement.
“This incident was a serious breach of privacy, and Their Royal Highnesses felt it essential to pursue all legal remedies. They wished to make the point strongly that this kind of unjustified intrusion should not happen.”
The chief executive for Bauer Media, brand owner of Closer, denounced the choice to publish the photos at the time.
“We have complained in the strongest terms to the licensee of Closer France over the publication by them of photographs of their Royal Highnesses, Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge,” Bauer Media chief executive Paul Keenan said in a statement posted on Closer’s website.
“We deplore the publication of these intrusive and offensive pictures and have asked that Closer France takes these pictures down immediately from its website and desist from publishing any further pictures.
Bauer Media and Closer UK regards publication of these photographs as a gross intrusion of their Royal Highnesses’ privacy.”