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Entries in Paparazzi (3)

Friday
Apr202012

Pippa Middleton’s Party Host Apologizes for Gun ‘Joke’

Chris Jackson/Getty Images(PARIS) -- The French aristocrat who hosted Pippa Middleton for a wild weekend in Paris that ended with the royal sister-in-law embroiled in a gun photo scandal has apologized.

Arthur de Soultrait issued a public apology to Middleton, 28, the sister-in-law of England’s Prince William.  He described the incident, in which Middleton was snapped laughing as a male companion in a car pointed a gun at a photographer following them in Paris, as a “joke.”

“Last Saturday, I was in a car with Philippa Middleton, and we were being followed by paparazzi,” read the statement from De Soultrait, a fashion label owner, released Wednesday in Paris, according to People magazine.

“She had been subject to constant and dangerous harassment by paparazzi throughout her time in Paris.  The car was being driven by a friend of mine, whom Pippa had only met a few hours before.  As a joke, my friend brandished a toy pistol in their direction,” he wrote.  “Obviously Philippa had no idea that he was going to do that and told him to stop immediately.  She did not find it funny.”

De Soultrait, 30, and Middleton were both passengers in the Audi convertible driven by De Soultrait’s friend, later identified as French criminal lawyer Romain Rabillard, 36, when he allegedly reached for what appeared to be a semi-automatic gun and jokingly aimed it at a paparazzi following them, London newspaper The Sun reported.

The widely-released image, showing Middleton, the younger sister of the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, grinning as Rabillard aims the gun, thrust the popular royal-in-law into unwanted headlines and fueled rumors she could face criminal charges under France’s strict gun laws.

The drama proved overblown, however, when the photographer later said he knew all along the gun was a fake and never filed a police complaint.  Paris police also confirmed they are not investigating the incident.

“I regret enormously that this incident happened, and especially that Pippa has been subject to the subsequent attention through no fault of her own.  I have apologized to her for this,” de Soultrait said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr162012

Pippa Middleton Photo Gun a Fake?

ABC News(LONDON) -- Photos of Pippa Middleton have made the sister-in-law of England's presumptive future king a worldwide sensation, but nothing quite like the shot this weekend when she was snapped laughing as a male companion in a car pointed a gun at a photographer following them in Paris.

Middleton, 28, was in the passenger seat of an Audi convertible with three male friends Sunday when the driver allegedly reached for a what appeared to be a semi-automatic gun and jokingly aimed it at a paparazzi following them, London newspaper The Sun reported.

The image shows Middleton, the younger sister of the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, looking back at the paparazzo and grinning as her friend, the driver, reaches down and aims what appears to be the gun.

But now it appears that the excitement, which included reports that Pippa Middleton could face criminal charges, may have been overblown.

ABC News has learned that the photographer says he knew all along the gun was a fake and has been telling people he never felt scared. Even friends of one of the young fashionistas in the car told ABC News Monday that they have the toy gun in their possession.

The Sun had reported that the Paris Judicial Police department is "poised" to launch a probe into the incident, but police told ABC News that there is no investigation, because no one has filed a complaint.

Middleton was reportedly in Paris to attend a costume birthday party at the Chez Raspoutine as a guest of fashion label owner Arthur de Soultrait, also a passenger in the car when the gun incident occurred.

"Pippa is a party girl. She mixes now in very high society and they don't come very higher than this group of French aristocratic sons," the Sun's royal editor, Duncan Larcombe, said of the three men Middleton was photographed with.

Even if the flap blows over, it is a rare misstep for Middleton, who was dubbed "Her Royal Hotness" and became a target of paparazzi after she wowed onlookers as a bridesmaid at her sister's wedding to Prince William last April.

It was revealed in January that lawyers for Middleton sent a cease-and-desist letter around to six media agencies that distribute paparazzi photographs worldwide. The letter was said to warn the agencies that unless their photographers stop following Middleton, she will pursue legal action, which could include an injunction and legal costs.

Just prior to the letter being sent, the picture editor for U.K.'s Daily Mail newspaper reported that 400 photographs of Middleton cross his desk every single day.

Middleton, who lives in London and works for her family's party-planning business, was last said to be back in a serious romance with her old flame, George Percy, an heir to the Duke of Northumberland, one of Britain's grandest and richest titles.

"Pippa has been photographed; she's been coached on how to behave," Larcombe said. "If she's photographed by an unwanted freelance photographer, she smiles, she keeps her head up and she lets the lawyers doing the arguing behind the scenes. She knows much better than this."

Buckingham Palace said it would not comment on the incident, since it does not officially represent Middleton because she is not a member of the royal family.

"I think often by what they're not saying can often say more and I think there are some very nervous people behind the scenes right now," Larcombe said.

"I think, in fairness to her [Pippa], it will be interesting to know whether she told this guy off after he'd done something as stupid as this or whether she thinks it was all a big joke because in the pictures, unfortunately for her, it does look as though she found the funny side of it," he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr162012

Pippa Middleton Caught in Gun-Wielding Scandal

Chris Jackson/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Pippa Middleton, the sister-in-law of England's presumptive future king, could face criminal charges after a male companion was reportedly caught brandishing a gun and allegedly pointing it at a photographer following the pair in Paris.

Middleton, 27, was in the passenger seat of an Audi convertible with three male friends Sunday when the driver allegedly reached for a semi-automatic gun and jokingly aimed it at a paparazzi following them, London newspaper The Sun reported.

The image, released to the Sun by the French photographer at whom the pistol was aimed, shows Middleton, the younger sister of the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, looking back at the paparazzo and grinning as her friend, the driver, reaches down and aims the gun.

The paper reported that the Paris Judicial Police department is "poised" to launch a probe into the incident.  Charges could result in prison sentences of up to seven years for all four people in the car, or a two-year sentence if the gun turns out to be a fake, a source told the Sun.

"If the evidence points to her involvement, she will be prosecuted.  Anybody involved in the illegal use of a handgun in public is liable to arrest and interrogation," the source said.

The French photographer is still weighing whether to file a formal police complaint, the Sun's royal editor, Duncan Larcombe, confirmed Monday on ABC's Good Morning America.

"We're told he isn't ruling anything out yet," Larcombe said.

Middleton was reportedly in Paris to attend a costume birthday party at the Chez Raspoutine as a guest of fashion label owner Arthur de Soultrait Pari.

The gaffe is a rare misstep for Middleton, who was dubbed "Her Royal Hotness" and became a target of paparazzi after she wowed onlookers as a bridesmaid at her sister's wedding to Prince William last April.

Buckingham Palace, which does not officially represent Middleton because she is not a member of the royal family, has not commented on the incident.

"I think often by what they're not saying can often say more and I think there are some very nervous people behind the scenes right now," Larcombe said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio