France

Julie Gayet wins privacy case against French glossy over Hollande car photo

Julie Gayet
Julie Gayet Wikimedia commons/Georges Biard

French actress Julie Gayet, whose affair with President Francois Hollande hit the headlines in January, on Tuesday won a legal case against a photographer who snapped her at the wheel of her car.

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A court in the western Paris suburb of Nanterre also fined two senior executives of the French glossy magazine Closer, which used the photograph only a week after revealing the affair in early January.

The court gave paparazzo Laurent Viers a suspended fine of 1,000 euros for taking the photo, which Closer captioned "It's in her white Citroen that Julie Gayet meets the president."

Carmine Perna, director general of Mondadori Magazines France, publishers of Closer, and the magazine's editor-in-chief Laurence Pieau both received suspended fines of 3,000 euros.

Under French law, the inside of a car is considered to be a private space.

Pieau had earlier contested this, telling the court that "for me, a car is not a private space" but refused comment after Tuesday's ruling.

"It's an important ruling," said Jean Ennochi, lawyer for the 41-year-old actress noting that it was the first time that officials from Closer had been sentenced.

Viers had previously said he was merely tracking the actress "to have some information". Gayet, meanwhile, told prosecutors she "just could not shake him off".

The French were stunned in January to see in Closer photographs purportedly showing Hollande arriving for trysts on a scooter at an apartment near his official residence in the heart of Paris.

The scoop, which included details of late night meetings near the Elysee presidential palace and bodyguards being dispatched to buy croissants for the pair in the morning, sparked huge interest around the world.

The revelations also led to the break-up of Hollande's relationship with partner Valerie Trierweiler, for whom he left his long-time companion Segolene Royal, France's current environment minister and mother of his four children.

In March, a French court ordered Closer to pay the actress 15,000 euros in damages for breach of privacy, short of the 50,000 euros she demanded when she filed suit.

 

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