When Meghan Markle stripped down while grilling hamburgers in a 2013 video for American magazine Men’s Health, she was a star on a new hit show who’d yet to meet the man who would invite her into the British royal family as his bride. However, that didn’t stop French tabloid Closer from using footage of the former Suits star to dispute a 2017 judgment in favor of the royal family in the Versailles Appeals Court on Wednesday.
The initial ruling awarded the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge 100,000 euros in damages after the magazine published paparazzi photos of Kate Middleton topless while sunbathing in Provence in 2012. But now the magazine is appealing the decision, calling the payout “exaggerated” simply because the royals were involved. Rather than overturn the ruling, the magazine is now seeking to have the amount reduced, as reported by Sky News:
Closer Magazine was ordered to pay €100,000 (£92,000) in damages to Kate and William over the breach of privacy last year.
However, lawyers for the magazine claim the compensation amount was “exaggerated” due to their royal status.
Yahoo! Lifestyle also weighed in on the issue:
Now the magazine’s legal counsel claims that the damages should be reduced on the grounds that it is “hypocritical” for the royal family to take issue with Kate’s racy images when her sister-in-law, newly minted duchess of Sussex, has posed in a provocative fashion for magazines and campaigns during her acting career.
Frankly, we think this is a case of false equivalencies, since Markle was, at the time, an actress unaffiliated with the royal family, consciously posing for said images—not to mention employed in an industry notorious for the commodification of female bodies. Middleton, on the other hand, was a newlywed, caught topless unawares while vacationing with her husband—a clear invasion of privacy.
But in a particularly sleazy twist, alleged topless photos of Markle taken prior to her marriage to Prince Harry—possibly intended for private use only—may also be used in the appeal.