French actress Julie Gayet, whose affair with President Francois Hollande made headlines worldwide, yesterday won a privacy case against a photographer who snapped her in her car.
A court in the western Paris suburb of Nanterre also fined two senior executives of French glossy magazine Closer, which splashed the photograph only a week after revealing the affair in early January.
The court handed paparazzo Laurent Viers a suspended fine of €1,000 (HK$10,175) for taking the photo, which Closer splashed with the caption: "It's in her white Citroen that Julie Gayet meets the president."
Carmine Perna, director general of Closer publisher Mondadori Magazines France, and the magazine's editor-in-chief Laurence Pieau both received suspended fines of €3,000.
Under French law, the inside of a car is considered to be a private space. Pieau had earlier contested this, telling the court that "for me, a car is not a private space" but refused comment after yesterday's ruling.
"It's an important ruling," said Jean Ennochi, lawyer for the 41-year-old actress, adding it was the first time that officials from Closer had been sentenced.
Viers had previously said he was merely tracking the actress "to have some information". Gayet told prosecutors she "just could not shake him off".
Closer set off a political earthquake in January by publishing photographs purportedly showing Hollande arriving for trysts on a scooter at an apartment near his official residence in the heart of Paris.
The scoop, complete with salacious details of late night trysts near the presidential palace and bodyguards being dispatched to buy croissants for the pair in the morning, saw Hollande ridiculed in many newspapers globally.