Bauer could revoke licence for French Closer over Kate topless pics

Bauer Group could be set to revoke the licence which allows Closer magazine’s French edition to use the name.

The French title is believed to have paid more than £50,000 for photos of the Duchess of Cambridge sunbathing topless on the terrace of a private chateau in France.

After publishing the pictures last Friday they also appeared in the Irish Daily Star on Saturday and are due to appear in Italian magazine Chi this week.

Bauer Media said: “As the owners of the Closer brand and publishers of Closer magazine 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.

“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.

“We were not aware in advance of the purchase of these photographs or of any intention to publish. We have absolutely no control over the editorial decisions of Closer France.

“In the light of their publication, we are now urgently discussing this matter with our licensee and reviewing the terms of our licence agreement with Closer France.

“Like our readers we are appalled and regret the pain the publication of these photographs has caused.”

Closer France is published by the Italian company Mondadori which also publishes Chi.

Its licence to use the Closer brand is understood to include: “provisions to stop the licensee publishing material which would or might damage or lower the reputation of the Closer brand or that of Bauer, or bring it into disrepute.

“Closer France must not fall short of industry standards generally accepted in France and should conform to the same standard of photography and journalism expected for UK Closer.”

Bauer can terminate the 30-year licence for “performance that would be against the law” unless there is a “remedy” within 30 days.

Closer France is believed to have a weekly circulation of around 400,0000.

The UK title sold an average of 430,918 copies a week in the first half of this year, down from 459,693 a year ago.

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