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UK Closer condemns Kate pictures

The firm which established the Closer brand has condemned the "intrusive and offensive pictures" and is now reviewing the licence of the French magazine which published the topless pictures.

Publisher Bauer Media, which owns the UK version of Closer, said it complained in the strongest terms and was "appalled" by the use of the shots.

The similarity of the covers of the two magazines, which share the same pink masthead, may have caused some people to assume they are sister titles.

But bosses of the firm which publishes the UK version, and owns the brand, took steps to distance themselves from the French edition which is published under licence by Italian firm Mondadori.

Paul Keenan, chief executive of Bauer Media, said his company asked Closer France to remove the pictures and refrain from publishing any more of the images.

In a statement, he said: "As the owners of the Closer brand and publishers of Closer magazine, we have complained in the strongest terms to the licensee of Closer France over the publication by them of photographs of their Royal Highnesses, Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge.

"We deplore the publication of these intrusive and offensive pictures and have asked that Closer France takes these pictures down immediately from its website and desist from publishing any further pictures. Bauer Media and Closer UK regards publication of these photographs as a gross intrusion of their Royal Highnesses' privacy.

"We were not aware in advance of the purchase of these photographs or of any intention to publish. We have absolutely no control over the editorial decisions of Closer France. In the light of their publication, we are now urgently discussing this matter with our licensee and reviewing the terms of our licence agreement with Closer France.

"Like our readers, we are appalled and regret the pain the publication of these photographs has caused."

Earlier, Bauer pointed out that the French magazine makes its own editorial decisions. It also said that the UK Closer was not offered the pictures nor did it intend to publish them, and it "would never publish topless images of a member of the Royal Family on its cover or otherwise".

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