The photographer who snapped topless photos of Kate Middleton in France has so far eluded authorities.The paparazzi is being sought on on criminal charges, and at least three different descriptions have been reported.
The British tabs have given the photographer a nickname: “Le Rat.”
Pascal Rostain, a French celebrity photographer, told the BBC Radio the photographer is Irish, but vowed never to give up his name.
“The only thing I can tell you is that he’s from south of Dublin and he had red hair, but of course I will never, never, never say his name,” he said in an interview.
Kate Middleton Topless Photos Published
Kate Middleton is caught in a royal uproar over topless photos of her published in France. They follow publication of nude photos of Prince Harry partying in Las Vegas. Click the photo to see Kate topless.
More on Pippa and Kate Middleton
Rostain, however, also told a French newspaper that the photographer was English, but living in the south of France and working for Closer, the French magazine that first published the photos.
“These photos were taken on the orders of Closer, who asked him to sit around for several days to take them,” Rostain claimed.
At the same time, a London tabloid reported that female photographer, Valerie Suau, was on the scene that day and admitted snapping photos of the royal couple. But none, she claimed were topless.
Authorities also suspect that Chateau d’Autet staff may have alerted Closer about the royal couple’s visit. The sprawling chateau is now considered a “crime scene,” according to European reports.
Whoever snapped the photos faces a fine of up to $60,000 and up to one year in jail if convicted for violating French privacy laws.
While the royal family was successful getting a court order to prevent further publication in France, the photos have now surfaced in publications in Italy, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium and Germany.
Se & Hoer magazine in Denmark published 60 photos from the shoot last Thursday, but did not post them on its Web site.
“The incident is reminiscent of the worst excesses of the press and paparazzi during the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, and all the more upsetting to The Duke and Duchess for being so,” the palace said in a statement.