How to Improve a British Royal Scandal? Add Berlusconi

My piece on the Kate Middleton scandal has just been published by Time.

In Paris, the British royal family were seeking an injunction against the further publication of pictures of Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, topless on a terrace during a vacation in southern France. On Tuesday, they got their wish with the French court ordering the publisher of Closer to hand over all digital copies of the topless photos and blocked further publication of the images. In Ireland, the tabloid that ran the grainy photographs risks being shut down by its furious owner. In the U.K., no paper has dared send the images to the printers.

Compare that with the situation in Italy, where “Scandal in the Court: The Queen Is Naked” is the headline on the cover of Chi, a tabloid magazine owned by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and managed by his daughter Marina. In the country that gave the world the word paparazzi, the publication of the pictures has largely been greeted with a shrug. “In Italy, public figures have a reduced amount of privacy,” says Candida Morvillo, a columnist for Italy’s RCS media group and former editor of the Italian tabloid magazine Novella 2000. “It’s not so important to us if it’s in the public interest. For us, there’s only a single question: Were the pictures taken legally or not?” Few Italian lawyers would believe the snaps, taken from a public location, were illegal.

Read the rest.