Royal sues magazine over beach photos

12th July 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, July 12, 2007 (AFP) - Defeated French presidential candidate Segolene Royal is suing Paris Match magazine for publishing photos of her relaxing in a swimsuit on a Mediterranean beach, her lawyer said Thursday.

PARIS, July 12, 2007 (AFP) - Defeated French presidential candidate Segolene Royal is suing Paris Match magazine for publishing photos of her relaxing in a swimsuit on a Mediterranean beach, her lawyer said Thursday.

The glossy weekly's latest edition carried a front-page picture of Royal's head and shoulders emerging from the sea as she swam off the coast of the island of Corsica.

Inside were more photos of the svelte 53-year-old in a striped swimsuit, along with her 21-year-old bikini-clad daughter Clemence, wading in shallow water and sunbathing on the beach.

Royal's lawyer, Jean-Pierre Mignard, told AFP his client was suing the magazine under France's strict privacy laws for taking unauthorised photographs and for invasion of privacy. 

Condemning the photos as "vulgar voyeurism," he said Royal would seek "significant" damages and demand the withdrawal of newspaper stand posters using the pictures to advertise Paris Match.

Royal, who was defeated in May's presidential election by the rightwing Nicolas Sarkozy, said Wednesday she had asked Paris Match not to publish the photos but in vain.

A senior editor at Paris Match defended his magazine's use of the Royal photos.

"The holiday destinations of major political personalities are, in the world as in France, a legitimate subject of information, particularly given that Segolene Royal is at the heart of the news this week," Olivier Royant told AFP.

Two French glossy maagazines last summer printed photos of a bikini-clad Royal on a Mediterranean beach with her then partner Francois Hollande and their children.

Royal's lawyers wrote to both celebrity magazines to complain but in the end decided not to sue.

Royal in May said she was suing the autors of a book, titled "Femme Fatale," that claimed that her relationship with Hollande, the leader of the Socialist Party, was in crisis and that she had undergone plastic surgery.

She last month announced she had separated from Hollande and accused him of having an affair.

While Royal remains the Socialists' most popular politician, she is contested by senior figures in the party who blame her for losing the presidential race to Sarkozy.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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