In an outrages unscrupulous move, an Italian magazine owned by the country’s former premier has published more topless photos of Kate Middleton sunbathing despite legal action by the royal family to block publication.
This sort of behavior encourages photographers to step over the line of ethics, which can potentially result in the kind of life ending event that tragically occurred to Princess Diane.
Publications like ours can and should promote a boycott of the offending media outlets to let them know that our industry will not condone such reckless behavior.
If Chi and the other publication had obtained these photographs legitimately, there would be no cause for us to act in unity.
However, that is not the case with these photos.
As a media organization, it is in all of our best interest to police ourselves in these kind of rare occasions.
Please do not misunderstand our proposal. We value free speech just as much and any news publication. In fact, we find nothing wrong with the headlines used by the offending news agencies that read: “Court Scandal: The Queen is Nude.” Rather our grievance simply involves the method used to obtain the topless nude photos that feature Kate Middleton
That Chi magazine would distribute a 26-page photo spread of the Duchess of Cambridge sunbathing in the nude on the terrace of a secluded château in the south of France is appalling given the egregious method used to acquire them.
We applaud the Royals for taking their privileged gloves off. We also agree with the position taken by the Duchess of Cambridge, when she announced her opposition to the publication of the surreptitious invasion of privacy.
We accept their declaration that the photographic event was clearly journalistic malpractice. Furthermore we urge Kate Middleton and Prince William to publicly or privately ask publishers familiar with the offending publication to publish headlines encouraging reader’s to boycott the newspapers or tabloids that nefarious crosses this very personal and private ethical line merely to serve their greedy self interests.
Hence, the call should be upon all media outlets, to ask the general public for support in boycotting the offending publications. Furthermore, we encourage publications that agree with the Duchess to support our decision to publish the following headline or variation therein, which reads: Any Publication That Publishes Recent Topless Photo’s Of Kate Middleton Should Be Boycotted
To reiterate, there is nothing wrong with publishers policing themselves. That said, here’s the story:
Lawyers for the royals filed a criminal complaint Monday against the photographer who took the shots, according to the UK Independent. If convicted, the still-anonymous paparazzo and the editor of France’s Closer magazine could each face a year in jail, plus a fine.
Later Monday, lawyers were heading to civil court to seek damages and an injunction barring additional publication of the images, CNN said.
Meanwhile, the photos originally published by Closer have since popped up via Chi magazine in Italy and the Daily Star in Ireland (though not in Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom).
Daily Star editor, Mike O’Kane told the BBC that “The Duchess would be no different to any other celeb pics we would get in, for example Rihanna or Lady Gaga,” He went on to say, “She’s not the future queen of Ireland so really the only place this is causing fury seems to be in the U.K.”
Alfonso Signorini, editor of Chi, called the shots a “non violation of privacy because they were taken from a public space … the photos are absolutely within the confines of the Italian law.” He told the Telegraph that he hoped, with the pics, “Kate could demonstrate an element of modernity, to show an open mind.”
Chi — according to “Good Morning America,” the same mag that showed pictures of Princess Diana dying after that car crash in a Paris tunnel — gave the royals a demure 26 pages in which to show their open-mindedness.
Never mind that that “public space” the photographer used was, according to E! News, about a half-mile away from the remote home where the couple was staying, and that Kate specifically was not aware of any chance her privacy could be breached while within the confines of her private property.
Ironically, Sunday on Tuvanipupu Island in the Solomons, Kate and Will got a topless greeting from a few of the locals.
A spokesman for St. James’s Palace expressed the couple’s dismay at the French magazine’s blatant invasion of their privacy in a statement released on Friday, saying, “Their Royal Highnesses have been hugely saddened to learn that a French publication and a photographer have invaded their privacy in such a grotesque and totally unjustifiable manner.”
“The incident is reminiscent of the worst excesses of the press and paparazzi during the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, and all the more upsetting to The Duke and Duchess for being so. Their Royal Highnesses had every expectation of privacy in the remote house. It is unthinkable that anyone should take such photographs, let alone publish them.”
“Legal proceedings for breach of privacy have been commenced in France” said the St. James’ Palace spokesman.
It is not clear, what relief the Royals are seeking with their lawsuit.
Responding to the lawsuit, Closer magazine editor, Laurence Pieau, termed the reaction to the photos as “disproportionate.”
Speaking to the AFP, Laurence made the point, “These photos are not in the least shocking. They show a young woman sunbathing topless, like the millions of women you see on beaches.”
“It is a young couple that has just been married. They are in love. They are beautiful. She is the princess of the 21st century,” Laurence added.
“The complaint is about a breach of private life and the complainants are Prince ¬William and the Duchess,” a judicial source said. A first hearing was held at Nanterre on Monday.
France in theory has some of the strictest privacy laws in the world but, in practice, fines are often token.
Laurence Pieau, editor of France’s Closer magazine, who in theory faces a maximum sentence of a year in prison and a fine of 45,000 euros (£36,000), insisted he would fight any legal action, saying: “The photos are not in the least bit shocking.”
But a source close to the royal couple said: “It’s disappointing, it’s very saddening and it turns the clock back 15 years.”
One last point should be considered. Taking a picture from a public place with zoom lenses able to capture photographs of a person located on private property where there is the assumption of privacy is the issue being debated.
If Chi’s position is deemed valid, then our world is on a very misguided collision course with indecency.
Imagine someone taking pictures from a public location with a camera powerful enough to enter into your bedroom and capture your most intimate private moments. Clearly, Chi’s behavior is on the same par.
Contributors: Guardian Express