Court awards Duchess of Cambridge damages over topless photos – a victory for privacy rights

05 Sep 2017

The French Court has today ruled that the publication of topless photographs of the Duchess of Cambridge by Closer magazine in 2012 was an invasion of privacy. The Court ordered Closer to pay €100,000 in damages and ordered the editor and owner to pay €45,000 each. The photographs had been taken using a long lens camera whilst the Duchess of Cambridge was relaxing at a private chateau. Following the publication of the photographs the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge obtained an immediate injunction to prevent the photographs from being re-published, albeit this did not prevent them from being used in several other European publications. 

Media and Privacy lawyer, Sophie Laing, says "the award made by the French Court today is a significant victory for privacy rights. It reaffirms the importance of an individual’s right to privacy regardless of his or her public position and is an important precedent in terms of the level of damages awarded."