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French magazine that reported on president’s alleged affair fined for violating minister’s privacy

By Agence France-Presse
Friday, January 24, 2014 19:55 EDT
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French Culture minister Aurelie Filippetti arrives at the Elysee palace for a meeting on Dec. 17, 2013 in Paris [AFP]
 
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The French magazine that reported President Francois Hollande’s affair with an actress has been fined for breach of privacy in a separate case brought by France’s culture minister, a lawyer said Friday.

A court has ordered Closer to pay Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti 2,500 euros ($3,400) for publishing photos of her in a swimsuit while on vacation a year ago on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, the minister’s lawyer told AFP.

Filippetti had asked for 50,000 euros in damages over the spread, which Closer argued was newsworthy because Hollande at the time had ordered his ministers to stay close and in contact over the Christmas vacation.

The court in the Paris suburb of Nanterre ruled against the minister in a similar lawsuit against another magazine, Voici, which had printed photos of her wearing a dress on the same tropical island.

It determined that the public’s right to know in that case superseded privacy protection.

Filippetti’s lawyer, Patrick Maisonneuve, said his client was appealing the Voici ruling.

Filippetti had been forced to defend her vacation following Voici’s revelation of the destination, telling French radio that she had informed Hollande and he had granted his permission.

Last week a spokesman for Closer told AFP that the French actress Julie Gayet was suing the magazine after it reported the affair with Hollande.

The socialist leader had said he considered suing the glossy for breaching his privacy, but later ruled it out as inappropriate given that he himself enjoys immunity from any legal action.

[Image via Agence France-Presse]

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
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