Irish newspaper publishes topless Kate pix

ROME (AP) - An Irish tabloid has published topless photos of Prince William’s wife Kate that drew outrage in Britain when they appeared in a French magazine.

The Irish Daily Star ran the pictures Saturday over two inside pages.

Editor Mike O’Kane told the BBC the photos did not feature in the edition distributed in Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom.

The royal couple’s St. James’s Palace office condemned the Irish paper, saying: “There can be no motivation for this action other than greed.”

The French magazine Closer published the photos Friday and was immediately slapped with a lawsuit by the royal couple alleging privacy violations.

The Irish Daily Star website came up as “temporarily unavailable” in Britain on Saturday.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

An Italian gossip magazine owned by former Premier Silvio Berlusconi said Saturday it plans to publish topless photos of Prince William’s wife Kate, despite legal action against a French magazine that published the images first.

Chi is part of Berlusconi’s publishing house Mondadori, which also owns Closer, the popular French magazine that hit newsstands Friday with the photos - and was immediately slapped with a lawsuit by the royal couple alleging privacy violations.

The photos, taken while Kate and William were at a private estate in southern France last month, are the first to show Britain’s likely future queen with her bosom exposed.

Chi said it plans to publish a 26-page spread with the photos on Monday. The cover, featuring three pictures of a topless princess, was unveiled Saturday in Italian newspapers and television under the headline “The Queen is Nude!”

In an interview Saturday with The Associated Press, editor Alfonso Signorini said he didn’t fear legal action since the photos were already in the public domain following Closer’s publication.

Closer’s position is different, they were the first ones to publish,” he said.

He defended the decision to publish them in Italy, saying the photos are tasteful and respect Kate’s dignity.

“I don’t see anything morbid or damaging in them,” he said. “Chi pays attention to respecting people’s dignity. I don’t think they hurt Kate’s image.”

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