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French Closer magazine loses appeal against damages over topless photos of Duchess of Cambridge

France’s Closer magazine has been told it will have to pay damages of €90,000 for publishing topless pictures of the Duchess of Cambridge after an appeals court upheld an earlier ruling.

The celebrity publication, which is separate from the UK’s Closer magazine, had been ordered to pay the large sum to the Cambridges during a judgement made last September for breaching Kate’s privacy.

The judgement followed the trial of six defendants who were all convicted of charges relating to the taking and publication of the photographs of the duchess sunbathing.

The Versailles appeals court upheld last autumn’s decision to fine Ernesto Mauri, chief executive of publishing group Mondadori, which produces Closer, and Laurence Pieau, editor of the magazine in France, the maximum penalty of €45,000 for their role in the invasion of privacy.

It also upheld the decision to fine two photographers, who photographed the duchess, €10,000 each.

The photos, taken when Kate and William were on holiday at a private chateau in Provence, southern France, appeared on the publication’s front and inside pages in September 2012.

Publication of the pictures prompted a fierce reaction at the time, with St James’s Palace stating they were “reminiscent of the worst excesses of the press and paparazzi during the life of Diana, Princess of Wales”.

During the trial, the court was told that William found the decision to publish the topless photographs “all the more painful” given the battles of his late mother with the paparazzi.

Kensington Palace declined to comment.

Picture: Reuters/Britta Pedersen/Pool

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