French lawyers say the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge did not deserve a £92,000 payout for topless photos of Kate – because Meghan Markle posed for sexy shoots.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were awarded the large payout after long-lens images of Kate sunbathing on a terrace were published by France’s Closer magazine in September 2012.
But barristers will argue the sum was excessive because privacy complaint payouts are typically in the range of £100.
In addition, they will point to images of the Duchess of Sussex – including a video in which Meghan Markle removes her clothes while grilling meat – as proving modern titled women have used steamy body shots to promote themselves in the past.
Barristers will use this footage of Meghan Markle stripping off while grilling burgers for a Men’s Health feature in 2013 as they appeal the case in Versailles, west of Paris this week
Payout: The Duchess of Cambridge, pictured with the Duchess of Cornwall at the Trooping of the Colour on Saturday, and her husband Prince William were awarded £92,000 in compensation over the topless images published in 2012
The ‘Grilling Never Looked So Hot With Meghan Markle’ video, shot for Men’s Health magazine in 2013, sees the then-actress removing her shirt for the camera before seductively posing in shorts while grilling hamburgers.
The appeal against the £92,000 payout is set to start in the Versailles Appeal Court tomorrow.
Evidence may also include images allegedly depicting the Duchess of Sussex exposing her breasts for the camera on a beach, taken before joining the Royal Family.
French lawyers say it’s ‘hypocritical’ of the Cambridges to claim such a huge compensation when other members of the royal family are ‘happy with sexy photos’, citing the number of steamy snaps Meghan Markle posed for during her acting career
Career moves: The Duchess of Sussex posed for the steamy grilling shoot, and several others of a similar nature, during her acting career – before she married Prince Harry
One family: The Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, are seen on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, in central London, following the Trooping the Colour ceremony at Horse Guards Parade as the Queen celebrated her official birthday on Saturday
While Kensington Palace sources insist the photos were tampered with – and quite possibly stolen – they are widely available online.
The legal team will allegedly also use other provocative images of Meghan Markle, such as lingerie photo shoots and love scenes from her acting career.
Closer’s lawyer Paul-Albert Iweins says the fines were ‘exaggerated for a simple privacy matter’, in which French fines often amount to a token ‘principle’ sum amounting to less than £100.
Counsel for those convicted also point to younger Royals increasingly acting like celebrities, and so inviting the kind of media scrutiny experiences by actors and sports stars.
‘They are happy with sexy photos of themselves when they are in control, but then claim huge amounts of money when they’re unauthorised,’ said one legal source involved in the case.
‘There’s ridiculous hypocrisy involved, and the outrageous compensation figure reflects this.’
New life: The Duchess of Sussex married Prince Harry in Windsor last month
In regards to the images of a topless Duchess of Cambridge, six defendants appeared in the dock of Nanterre court, in the Paris suburbs, last September following five years of legal proceedings.
Judges ordered French Closer magazine to pay the majority of the damages in relation to the pictures of Kate and William relaxing at a Provence chateau owned by the Earl of Snowdon, the late Princess Margaret’s son, in September 2012.
Long-lens cameras caught Kate solely wearing a pair of skimpy bikini bottoms, with William at one stage rubbing sun cream into his wife’s skin.
The editor of Closer magazine, Laurence Piea, 51, and Ernest Mauria, the 71-year-old director of the Mondadori group which publishes it, were fined £42,000 each.
Photographers, who still deny taking the photos, were also fined the equivalent of up to £8,500 each, after William presented statements attacking the paparazzi.
He and Kate wanted £1.4 million in compensation, but following the Nanterre payout, a Kensington Palace spokesman said they considered the case closed.