Alfonso Signorini, the editor in chief of Italian gossip magazine Chi, speaks during an interview with Reuters at the headquarters of Italian publisher Mondadori in Segrate September 17, 2012. Chi printed on Monday a 26-page special edition dedicated to pictures of Britain's Prince William's wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, sunbathing topless. Signorini defended his decision on Monday, saying they were harmless and that the terrace where the Duchess, formerly Kate Middleton, was relaxing was visible from a street. (Photo : Reuters)
Italian gossip magazine, Chi, has published a 26-page topless photo spread of Britain’s Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton less than a week after they were published in French magazine, Closer, ABC News reported.
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The magazine, which, like Closer, is owned by former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s publishing house Mondadori, published the photos under the headline “Court Scandal: The Queen is Nude” on Monday. The spread includes photos of the Duchess, 30, sunbathing at a private chateau in southern France while on vacation with her husband Prince William last week.
According to ABC News, Chi is the same magazine that published photos of Prince William’s mother Princess Diana dying in a tunnel in Paris after a high-speed car chase with paparazzi that ended with her death in 1997.
On Saturday, another publication in Ireland, called the Irish Daily Star, decided to run the photos despite legal actions taken against Closer magazine. According to the Telegraph, owners of Northern and Shell and Independent News & Media who own the Irish newspaper have criticized the editorial decision made by the newspaper.
The Irish newspaper's future was put in doubt, the Telegraph reported, after Northern and Shell owner Richard Desmond announced he was halting a deal to run the newspaper with Ireland's Independent News & Media. According to the Telegraph, Independent News & Media has also criticized the paper's decision. A spokeswoman for St. James Palace told the Telegraph, "There can be no motivation for this action other than greed."
St. James Palace issued a statement on Friday after the photos were published by Closer 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.”
Lawyers for the royal couple have started “legal proceedings for breach of privacy” against Mondadori and are scheduled to appear in court on Monday in France, ABC News reported. According to the report, St. James Palace stated that the couple will also file a criminal complaint against the photographer who took the photos.
The editorial boards for both Closer and Chi have defended their decision, with Closer magazine saying the photos would only appear in the French edition and that they were not degrading. According to ABC News, Chi editor, Alfonso Signorini, told the AP that he did not fear legal action and that “not even a direct call from the Queen” would prevent him from publishing the photos.
Prince William and his wife, Kate, are currently participating in a royal tour of South Asia to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee. The scandalous photos of the Duchess come one month after racy naked photos of Prince Harry in Las Vegas were published in the United States.