Judge Napolitano Answers: Would Kate Middleton Have Less Privacy in the U.S.?
In case you have somehow managed to not hear about the breaking royal news, the woman in line to be the next Queen of England – Kate Middleton – was photographed topless while on a private vacation with husband Prince William. The photos immediately hit the press and internet.
Today, Judge Andrew Napolitano weighed in on whether or not Middleton could expect to receive more privacy here in the United States than in Europe. According to Napolitano, the answer is not black and white.
“Yes, she could sue for damages here,” he said, adding however that “in the British systems, there are caps on the damages” that she could receive from such legal action – caps that are “pretty reasonable.” In the United States, though — there are no such caps.
Another facet of legal action in America is that while the new royal could go to court to attempt to stop the pics from being published, she would not win.
“Prior restraint in the U.S. is almost unheard of in a situation not invloving a sensitive national security or military secret,” he said.
“She could go to court and ask for a fortune in damages, even a fortune that would dwarf that which her husband has inherited,” said Napolitano. In France and Italy, she wouldn’t even be able to ask for that.
In essence, Napolitano said the argument could be made that Middleton would have less privacy in the U.S. than overseas. However, you could also make the argument that “she intentionally exposed herself in a private place from which she could be viewed from other private and public places,” said the judge. “Therefore, she ought to have known … not to sound crass, but she is an international public figure. There is a public interest in looking at her.”