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Italy also publishes topless Kate photos

Monday, September 17, 2012 - 02:37

Sep 17 -Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton are to make a criminal complaint against the photographer who took topless pictures of the duchess, as Italian gossip magazine Chi published a special edition including the photos. Joanna Partridge reports.

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"The Queen is naked" screams the headline. Topless photos of the Duchess of Cambridge are published once again - this time by Italian gossip magazine Chi. Chi and France's Closer magazine, the first to publish, are controlled by Mondadori, part of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's media empire. The editor of Chi, Alfonso Signorini, insists Italian law permits the printing of the photos. SOUNDBITE: ALFONSO SIGNORINI, EDITOR OF CHI MAGAZINE, SAYING (Italian): "There's a series of factors - the public interest, the fact the photos aren't morbid, the respect of the person's dignity, and that privacy hasn't been violated as they were taken in an open space, a public place, the street. And that means the photos are absolutely within the confines of Italian law." The magazine went on sale as Kate Middleton and her husband Prince William sought an injunction at a Paris court against the publication of further images. Lawyers for the royal couple are seeking damages from Closer magazine. They're also making a criminal complaint against the photographer who snapped the duchess during a holiday in the south of France. Over the weekend, the Irish Daily Star newspaper also printed the photos, breaking ranks with its British and Irish rivals. The paper's owners said they hadn't authorised the publication. And now the British chairman wants out of the joint venture. That won't prevent people searching the internet. But lawyer Gordon Williams says publishers may still think twice. SOUNDBITE: Gordon Williams, Partner at Lee & Thompson, saying (English): "The open question for them is how far they chase those publications round the world, and it is clearly right for them to focus on the source of the story in France, and ironically where they have some of the strongest privacy laws in the world, and they're talking about taking both civil and criminal action there." British publicist Max Clifford says the couple need to make a point by sueing. SOUNDBITE: Max Clifford, British publicist, saying (English): "If they'd let it die down then people would think we can get away with this and maybe other people would be tempted. At least the official message is coming out from the Royal family, from William, from Kate, we're not happy about this and this is not right, please give us and allow us a little bit of a private life." That message may be falling on deaf ears. British publications have so far turned the pictures down, but more magazines abroad clearly think the sales and publicity boost from publishing outweigh any potential legal costs. Joanna Partridge, Reuters

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Italy also publishes topless Kate photos

Monday, September 17, 2012 - 02:37