Meghan Markle was the victim of a nude photo and video leak earlier this year, and the stolen pictures of the newest member of the royal family appeared to find new unwanted attention just ahead of her wedding.
In March, a series of photos and video hit the internet that appeared to show the American actress sunbathing topless. The photos drew an immediate response from Kensington Palace, which declared that the photos were “fake,” the IB Times reported.
But just hours later, a website notorious for sharing nude celebrity photos released a full video — one that appeared to be legitimate — taken at a beach showing the 36-year-old actress topless. That video went viral, spreading across social media.
Though it appeared that Meghan Markle and the royal family weathered that scandal, the pictures found new life just ahead of the royal wedding. Many posted the pictures and video on social media, and it was not just the shadowy corners of the internet spreading the apparently stolen pictures. Claudio Tognolli, a Brazilian journalist and journalism professor, even shared the pictures on his personal blog. Tognolli, who was at one point hired by Yahoo! as an investigative journalist, has quite a reach on Twitter with close to 47,000 followers.
To many, the leak of Meghan Markle’s topless photo was reminiscent of another invasion of privacy for the royal family. Back in 2012, Kate Middleton was the victim when a paparazzi used a long-range camera to snap pictures of her sunbathing topless while on vacation.
In that case, the royal family fought back, taking the outlets that published the photos to court. As Vogue noted, a judge ordered the offending magazine to pay Kate Middleton and Prince William close to $120,000 in damages and slapped two other magazine staffers with fines of roughly $100,000.
While the pictures shared ahead of the royal wedding may have gotten some viral attention, it didn’t seem to take anything away from Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s big day. The wedding was expected to draw more than 1 billion viewers worldwide, and the focus was on the ceremony and Meghan’s wedding ensemble rather than the photo leak.