A verdict has finally been reached in the lawsuit surrounding Kate Middleton's 2012 topless photo scandal. According to multiple reports, the Duchess of Cambridge — who just announced she's pregnant with her third baby — was granted $120,000 in punitive damages, five years after a French magazine published photos of Kate and her husband, Prince William, on vacation in Provence, France.
A judge in Nanterre, France ordered the magazine to pay the royal couple on Tuesday, Sept. 5 after the court ruled the images had breached both Kate and William's privacy. At the start of the trail in May, Prince George and Princess Charlotte's parents were seeking $1.9 million in damages and a "very significant fine" to be imposed because of the images' publication. The media outlet who previously published the photos of Kate argued the royal couple has always been the subject of excessive public attention, the topless pictures did not cast the Duchess in a bad light, and the images were not taken under a breach of privacy.
Kate and William in 2012. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
In a prepared statement read by lawyer Jean Veil earlier this year, William, 35, said the candid photos of Kate, also 35, were "all the more painful" because of the "harassment" he believes led to his mother Princess Diana's death in a 1997 car crash.
"The clandestine way in which these photographs were taken was particularly shocking to us as it breached our privacy," the father-of-two's message read. "My wife and I thought that we could go to France for a few days in a secluded villa owned by a member of my family, and thus enjoy our privacy." Immediately following the scandal, a St. James’s Palace spokesperson called the media's decision to publish the topless pictures of Kate "grotesque."
"The incident is reminiscent of the worst excesses of the press and paparazzi during the life of Diana, and all the more upsetting to the Duke and Duchess for being so," the rep said.
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