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Italy: Berlusconi-owned gossip weekly publishes photos of Kate topless
last update: September 17, 13:24
Milan, 17 Sept. (AKI) - Italian weekly gossip magazine Chi on Monday published topless photos of the Duchess of Cambridge, formerly Kate Middleton, defying legal threats from the British royal family.
The issue includes a 12-page spread of pictures of the Duchess and features three topless photos of her on the cover with the headline: "Kate Middleton court scandal – The queen is nude!”.
The shots include one of her back with her hands putting suntan lotion inside her bikini bottom, exposing the top of her buttocks, sunbathing topless on the balcony and rubbing suntan lotion on her the back of her husband Prince William, second-in-line to the British throne.
There is also an assessment of Kate's breasts by an Italian cosmetic surgeon who concludes they are natural but that she is somewhat flat-chested.
The editor of Chi, which is owned by media magnate and former premier Silvio Berlusconi, defended his the decision to publish the pictures of the Duchess, taken on a recent private holiday in southern France.
"Not even a phone-call from the Queen would have stopped us," said Alfonso Signorini.
In an editorial, Signorini said the issue of Chi was “special” because it is was the first time the future queen of England had been seen “in a natural way” without the "structures" imposed by her role.
“What appears on the cover of Chi firstly is a beautiful young girl who is similar to millions of girls around the world who suntan topless,” he wrote. "Why should she be any different from her contemporaries?"
Chi is published by the Berlusconi family's Mondadori group which also owns the French magazine Closer which is now facing a possible legal injunction for publishing the photos of the Duchess last week.
The Duke and Duchess are suing Closer over the photos and seeking criminal prosecution of the photographer, who reportedly took the pictures 1.5 kilometres away from the chateau where the couple was staying, using a long lens.
Mondadori chief executive Marina Berlusconi, the former prime minister's daughter, said in a letter published in La Repubblica daily at the weekend that the publisher was merely "doing its job" by printing the shots.
“I am not going to comment on the merits of the photos of the duchess,” she said, claiming that her father was not consulted over the decision to publish the photos.
Pictures of the Duchess sunbathing without her bikini top also appeared last week in an Irish tabloid.
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