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French court delays verdict over topless photos of the Duchess of Cambridge

The French court in Nanterre has postponed a ruling on whether France’s Closer magazine should pay up to €1.5 million (£1.3m) in damages for publishing topless photos of the Duchess of Cambridge. The verdict was due today, but it has now been postponed until September.

The Duke of Cambridge submitted a statement, which was read at the opening of the case in May, where he revealed how the photos had brought back the distressing memories of the harassment suffered by his mother Diana, Princess of Wales, which made the decision to publish the photos “all the more painful.”

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were on a three-day break in a chateau in Provence in the south of France in September 2012 when the photos were taken with a long lens. They were then published across the front and inside pages of Closer magazine alongside an article with the headline “Oh my God!” The photos showed the Duchess of Cambridge topless with the Duke of Cambridge putting suncream on her. They were on the terrace of a private chateau owned by the Earl of Snowdon, the Queen’s nephew. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge launched legal proceedings soon after the photos were published and the photos were banned from further reproduction. An investigation was also launched into how the images were obtained, but this did not stop the photos from appearing in several other European magazines.
The defendants are Laurence Pieau, the editor of Closer, Ernesto Mauri, chief executive of the Mondadori group which owns Closer, Cyril Moreau and Dominique Jacovides, two photographers suspected of having taken the topless photographs, Valerie Suau, who admitted to taking the photos, and Marc Auburtin. Cyril Moreau and Dominique Jacovides deny having taken any photos.