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Kate Middleton Topless Photo Scandal: Closer Brand Owner Denounces Decision to Run Images

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Kate Middleton, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William
Kate Middleton, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Kate Middleton's topless photo scandal has rocked the royal palace, which swiftly announced it will be filing a lawsuit against Closer for publishing the shocking pics.

But the palace isn't the only one taking drastic steps: In a notable turn of events, Closer's brand owner Bauer Media, has come forward to denounce the tabloid's decision to run the images and hints that the title's future with the publishing group could be on shaky ground.

"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,"  Bauer Media chief executive Paul Keenan said in a statement posted on Closer's website.

Royals file lawsuit against tabloid for publishing Kate Middleton topless pics

"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."

Bauer Media also claims it had no knowledge of the photos or the magazine's plan to publish them, noting that  "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."

The tabloid's editor, on the other hand, had earlier defended their use of the photos, explaining that "they show a young woman sunbathing topless, like the millions of women you see on beaches" and insisting that "one shouldn't dramatize these pictures...The reaction has been a little disproportionate."

French tabloid defends publishing "beautiful" shots of Middleton

Despite the scandal, the royal couple at the center of it have lost none of their proverbial regal bearing.

A royal source exclusively tells E! News that Prince William and his wife, who are currently traveling around Asia as part of Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee tour, "are remaining upbeat despite all of this."

"They are focused on the tour," the source adds. "They are looking forward to tomorrow when they are going to be visiting a rainforest," referring to the couple's next stop in Borneo. "They are not letting this ruin the tour."

Kate Middleton visits mosque in Malaysia

The source also echoed the palace's sentiments about the incident, calling the publication of the photos by Closer magazine "a grotesque breach of privacy and clearly it needs to be stopped…Taking legal action is the only thing Kate and William could do. This is extremely serious and very upsetting."

Judging by the intense public outrcy, it's a sentiment echoed by many.

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