Italian magazine to publish topless Kate pix

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That two magazines in Berlusconi’s media empire were responsible for the distribution of the images of a topless Kate is remarkable, given the former premier’s own problems with paparazzi and his privacy.

In 2009, he threatened legal action against the Spanish newspaper El Pais after it published photos of topless women and a naked man lounging at his Sardinian estate. Italian prosecutors seized the photos and placed the photographer under investigation for alleged violation of privacy.

The photos came to light at the start of Berlusconi’s downfall: They were published amid a scandal involving Berlusconi and a Naples model, whose 18th birthday party the then-premier attended.

Berlusconi, who was forced from office in November after financial markets lost faith in his ability to steer Italy out of its debt crisis, is currently on trial in Milan on charges he paid for sex with an underage Moroccan girl and then used his office to try to cover it up. He denies wrongdoing, and both he and the girl say they didn’t have sex.

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Jill Lawless in London contributed to this report.

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Follow Nicole Winfield at http://www.twitter.com/nwinfield

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