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Kate Middleton topless photos published by Irish tabloid; Italy next

September 15, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
An Irish tabloid has published topless photos of Prince William's wife Kate one day after a French magazine did the same.

The Irish Daily Star ran the photos on Saturday within two inside pages. Editor Mike O'Kane told the BBC that the pictures did not run in the edition distributed in Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. St. James's Palace was quick to condemn the Irish paper, saying: "There can be no motivation for this action other than greed."

In Italy, gossip magazine Chi, which is owned by former Premier Silvio Berlusconi, said it planned to publish a 26-page spread with the photos on Monday.

The popular French gossip magazine Closer published the photos on Friday. The publication was immediately slapped with a lawsuit by the royal couple alleging privacy violations.

Closer editor Laurence Pieau defended the decision to use the topless photos. She told French radio the couple was on a terrace that was visible from the road when they were photographed. She said they were not making an effort to conceal themselves.

Chi is part of Berlusconi's publishing empire Mondadori, which also owns Closer. In an interview Saturday with The Associated Press, Chi editor Alfonso Signorini said he didn't fear legal action since the photos were already in the public domain following Closer's publication.

The Chi cover, featuring three pictures of a topless princess, was unveiled Saturday in Italian newspapers and television under the headline "Court Scandal: The Queen is Nude!"

The blurry photos show Kate wearing only a bikini bottom with her bosom exposed. The two were on a balcony at a private estate in Provence, a vacation spot near the French Riviera.

According to ABC News, Northern and Shell, the owners of the Irish Daily Star, said they "abhor" the newspaper's decision to publish topless photographs of the Duchess of Cambridge and "very much regret the distress it has caused."

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are currently touring the Far East and South Pacific to mark Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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