Royal to seek damages over published photos
Photos of the French politician walking hand in hand with a man in a Spanish street were published in news weekly Paris Match.PARIS – French politician Segolene Royal will go to court to seek damages after news weekly Paris Match published pictures of her walking hand in hand with a man in a Spanish street, her lawyer said Thursday.
This week's cover story shows Royal, the defeated Socialist candidate in France's 2007 presidential election, enjoying a private moment in Marbella with a man described as a little-known 58-year-old board games publisher.
France has strict privacy laws which theoretically ban the press from publishing details of personalities' private lives without their permission, although magazines often break the rules and pay the resulting fines.
Royal's friend and lawyer Jean-Pierre Mignard, who runs the 55-year-old activist's political campaign committee, told Europe 1 radio that she would make a complaint against Paris Match for having invaded her privacy.
"We won't let this pass," he warned, accusing unnamed forces of conspiring to undermine his client's political work by turning her public image into that of a celebrity rather than that of a serious campaigner.
Paris Match published three photos of Royal and her friend. Both wear dark glasses but neither appear to notice or seek to avoid the camera.
Royal is wearing her trademark blue tunic over blue trousers, a look she unveiled during last year's failed campaign for the Socialist leadership.
Other pictures accompanying the article, a warm tribute to her independent spirit, show her at work meeting strike leaders in Guadeloupe last week and attending the funeral of a slain labour activist.
Royal, a mother of four, split from long-term partner Francois Hollande, who was then Socialist Party general secretary, a few weeks after she was defeated by President Nicolas Sarkozy in the 2007 election.
AFP / Expatica