Skip navigation
Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Will and Kate Impose Photo Ban

The Royal Couple won in French court against the gossip magazine, Closer.

A French court ruled in favor of Will and Kate Tuesday over the topless photos taken of the Duchess of Cambridge.

(Photo by Associated Press)
(Photo by Associated Press)

The family demands all digital copies within 24 hours and the publisher of Closer must block all publication of the photos. The French gossip magazine faces a fine of 10,000 dollars for each day it fails to do so. The magazine also faces a 2,000 dollar fine. Closer cannot republishing the pictures on its website, tablet app or re-sell the photos.

The decision only affects the 14 shots of the Duchess published in Friday's edition of the magazine. If Closer France has more photos, they could still publish them since they are not involved in the ruling.

The unauthorized photos have also been published in Italy, Ireland and on the Internet. An Irish newspaper editor was suspended after publishing some of the photos in the "Independent Star," and an Italian publication has published even more photos of Kate in "Chi".

"Thousands, now tens of thousands of copies, are now in public circulation," said Christopher Mesnooh, an American Lawyer working for Field Fisher Waterhouse in France, "A legal decision is a wonderful thing to obtain and the royal couple did exactly what they should have done. But you know that magazine is out there and I suspect most of you have already seen copies of that magazine, so the basic, the initial harm, has been done."

Kate and William are also targeting the anonymous photographer, "X", who took the picture. They have filed a criminal complaint to find the identity and stop the photographer from spreading any more photos. "X" could face both a substantial fine and a one-year prison term.

Mesnooh also said the magazine probably wasn't afraid of the ruling when they chose to print the photographs. "Closer magazine has a done a very sophisticated cost-benefit analysis," said Mesnooh, "Whatever the amount of damages that a French court will award, it will be a fraction of the publicity that the magazine will have gained, as well as the number of issues of this particular issue of closer magazine which will be sold."

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said in a statement that they "welcome the judge's ruling."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Leave a comment

We've Moved!

By Sam Bergum
01/21/16 | 11:09 a.m. PST

Visit us at!

USC Basketball Knocks Off Rival UCLA 89- 75

By Scott Cook
01/14/16 | 12:05 a.m. PST

USC defeats UCLA with stellar play from their Freshmen. 

Holiday Bowl - USC vs Wisconsin Post-Game Press Conference

Su'a Cravens: "It's the players that need to step up"

Darreus Rogers: "It comes down to the players"

Trojans Fall to Wisconsin in the Holiday Bowl 23-21

We detected that you might be on a mobile device such as an iPad or iPhone. Sorry, at this time the video box is only visible on desktop computers.