The editor of the Irish Daily Star has resigned following an internal investigation into his tabloid’s decision to publish topless photos of Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, while she was sunbathing in the south of France, the Irish Times reported.
Michael O’Kane, the editor, was suspended in September after investors of Independent Star Limited, the paper’s parent company, demanded O’Kane be removed from his position. Richard Desmond, whose Northern and Shell company co-owns the paper, demanded that the paper be shut down, according to the Times.
Following O’Kane’s resignation Saturday, the editors at the Irish Daily Star expressed a different view of the situation, according to itv.com: “Mr. O’Kane acted at all times in a highly professional and appropriate manner and in the best interests of the newspaper,” they said in a statement.
The blurry, long-lens photos of the princess and her husband, William, were originally published in Closer, a French magazine. At the time, a statement from St. James’ Palace in London said the couple was “hugely saddened” by the publication. The royals contended they had “every right to privacy in the remote house” where they were sunbathing.
The statement from St. James’ Palace even drew a comparison to Princess Diana, William's mother and the Princess of Wales: “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 images were not published in Britain, nor were they published in the Northern Ireland editions of the Irish Daily Star. Northern Ireland remains under British rule.
Both co-owners of the Irish Daily Star had criticized O’Kane’s decision to publish the photos but the Independent News and Media, which has holdings in Ireland, Northern Ireland and South Africa, ultimately decided that shutting down the paper would be unnecessarily extreme, according to the BBC.
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