The Irish Daily Star could be closed down by its owner, Richard Desmond, after it published pictures of a topless Kate Middleton sunbathing while on holiday in France.
According to The Guardian, Desmond reacted furiously to the Dublin-based tabloid’s decision to publish the controversial snaps of the Duchess of Cambridge. Consequently, the media magnate has already instructed his lawyers to investigate the possibility of shutting the publication down.
Should Desmond succeed in his bid to close the newspaper, unions in Dublin say over 120 jobs will be lost.
The Kate Middleton pictures, which were taken with a long-range telephoto lens, first appeared in the French magazine Closer. The Irish Daily Star then chose to run with 13 pictures of the duchess over the weekend (alongside an image of Closer‘s front cover). The editorial decision to print the Kate snaps was not revealed to Richard Desmond before publication and was heavily criticized by St James’ Palace.
Shortly after the Kate Middleton pictures first appeared in the Irish Daily Star, Desmond reacted with a strongly worded statement:
“I am very angry at the decision to publish these photographs and am taking immediate steps to close down the joint venture. The decision to publish these pictures has no justification whatever and Northern & Shell condemns it in the strongest possible terms.”
Whether Desmond can legally close down the Irish Daily Star is not yet known. Industry insiders point out that his company, Northern & Shell, only co-owns the title with the Dublin-based Independent News & Media (INM).
It is INM that could prevent the media heavyweight from following through on his threat. The Irish Times reports that the Dublin-based publisher believes closing the newspaper entirely is a “disproportionate reaction to a poor editorial decision.”