French court raps glossies over 'stolen' Strauss-Kahn photos

A Paris court today ordered two French glossies to pay USD 49,000 in damages to disgraced ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn and a woman named as his new girlfriend for publishing "stolen photographs" of them together.

The magazines VSD and Closer, which had published photographs of Strauss-Kahn and Myriam L'Aouffir embracing and other shots of the pair on vacation, had breached the couple's privacy, judge Anne-Marie Sauteraud ruled.

She ordered VSD to pay 8,000 euros to the one-time contender for the French presidency and 15,000 euros to L'Aouffir. Closer was asked to pay 5,000 euros to Strauss-Kahn and 10,000 euros to L'Aouffir.

Strauss-Kahn's lawyer had sought 80,000 euros in damages from VSD, the first magazine to publish the photographs, and 50,000 euros from Closer.

His lawyer Richard Malka said it was clear the photographs were not in the general interest, adding sarcastically: "All this is not being done to sell copies, it's just to inform us."

The VSD photographs showed them on holiday in Corsica and claimed that with his new girlfriend, "DSK has become a gentleman again".

L'Aouffir's lawyer Laurent Jourdan said she was seeking 100,000 euros from each publication.

He said his client, who works at the France 2 television channel, had been "totally unknown to the public", and now the "most intimate details of her private life were unravelled."

Strauss-Kahn suffered a stunning fall from grace following his arrest at a New York hotel on sexual assault charges last year and a subsequent string of sex-related investigations in France.

Strauss-Kahn's wife of some two decades, Anne Sinclair, recently confirmed their split. A former television journalist and the heiress to a large fortune, Sinclair now runs the French edition of the Huffington Post.

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