Catherine Duchess of Cambridge smiles during a ceremony naming a hybrid orchid in their honor at the Orchid Garden within the Singapore Botanical Gardens in Singapore, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012. The Duke and Duchess are on their first stop of a 10 day tour of Southeast Asia and the South Pacific on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II to commemorate her Diamond Jubilee. (AP Photo/Stephen Morrison, Pool)
Updated: September 17, 2012 9:24PM
If you asked me to come up with three facts about Kate Middleton, I’d scoff at how easy it would be.
Her first name is Kate.
Her last name is Middleton.
She’s married to Prince Harry. Or is it Edward? No wait, she’s married to Prince William. That’s the one!
Now that I look it up, I see the young woman’s name is Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.
Oh and hats! She likes to wear hats, right?
That’s about it. Unlike much of England and — judging by the ratings in the USA for the royal wedding in April 2011 — tens of millions of Americans, I hold no great fascination for the comings and goings of the next generation of royals. But I am fascinated by first Prince Harry and now Kate falling into the same candid-nude trap that seems to ensnare Hollywood starlets at the rate of about one per week.
Whether it’s Harry partying like an NBA point guard in Vegas or Kate sunbathing topless on a terrace in the South of France, it would have been an upset if some photos hadn’t surfaced online.
And by the way, if you’re a prince and a duchess, how do you know when you’re on vacation?
Peeping Toms for profit
To be clear: It’s not Harry’s fault somebody leaked photos of him cavorting nude in a suite at the Encore. And it’s certainly not Kate’s fault some greedy creep struck stalkerazzi gold with those long-distance topless shots.
But they should have seen it coming.
On Monday, an Italian gossip rag printed a 26-page special edition dedicated to the photos of Kate. The editor defended the scummy move, explaining, “It was a journalistic scoop, an important scoop…”
He also talked about respecting “the dignity of the subject and the non-violation of privacy … I hoped that Kate could demonstrate an element of modernity, to show an open mind with these photos…”
Yeah, come on Kate, what’s with the lawsuit? Lighten up!
For at least 40 years, talentless leeches armed with cameras have climbed trees, peeked through windows and staked out homes and hotels in the hopes of catching a famous person with her clothes off.
In 1971, Italian paparazzo Settimio Garritano snapped photos of Jacqueline Onassis sunbathing and doing yoga nude on the private island of Skorpios. (The photos appeared in an Italian magazine in 1972 and in Hustler magazine in the U.S. in 1975.) Nearly 40 years after the fact, Garritano told the Daily Telegraph how he had taken a boat to the island, moored it near some undergrowth, befriended a local and posed as a gardener to get close enough to take the pictures.
What a guy.
Somebody’s watching you
For even the semi-famous, if you’re nude or partially clad and you step onto that balcony or walk in front of that window or sunbathe on that tropical island, odds are some hack with a long-distance lens is going to capture that moment and find someone willing to pay for those images. It’s creepy and it’s not fair and one can debate whether it’s even legal in some cases, but you can’t pretend to be shocked when it does happen.
The same goes for the seemingly endless parade of stories about leaked videos and/or photos, whether the leaking was done by the subject as a publicity stunt or it’s a legitimate case of someone’s privacy violated.
Paris Hilton. Blake Lively. Vanessa Hudgens. Jessica Alba. Scarlett Johansson. Olivia Munn. Kristin Davis. Britney Spears. Madonna. Vanna White. Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Rihanna. Leighton Meester. Ashley Greene. Kat Dennings. Miley Cyrus. Christina Aguilera. Christina Hendricks.
That’s just a partial roster. We’re getting to the point where the list of starlets that haven’t had this happen is shorter than the list of victims.
Last week, Alison Pill of HBO’s “The Newsroom” accidentally Tweeted topless photos of herself. “Yep,” she wrote. “That picture happened. Ugh. My tech issues have now reached new heights, apparently. How a deletion turned into a Tweet ... Apologies.”
You’d think Pill would have avoided such a gaffe, given that in the second episode of “The Newsroom,” her character’s boss accidentally sent out a private email to everyone that worked for the parent company. Not to mention the Anthony Weiner storyline on the show.
As for the reported 200 photos of the duchess, wouldn’t it be something if the entire world just said, “We don’t care. We’re not buying, we’re not looking, we’re not interested.”
Not in this lifetime. Google “Kate Middleton topless” and you get 340 million results.
And that’s why these bottom-feeders continue to stalk the famous, hoping against hope some woman will take off her shirt.