Gossip magazine ordered to pay damages for ‘outing’ French right-wing politician

Florian Philippot

Florian Philippot

A court in Paris on Wednesday ordered a French gossip magazine to pay 20,000 euros ($24,400) in damages for “invasion of privacy” after having “outed” one of the far-right National Front party’s top officials as gay.

Florian Philippot

Florian Philippot

Earlier this month, the magazine “Closer” published four pages of photos taken in Vienna of party Vice President Florian Philippot with a “television journalist” presented as his boyfriend whose face was blurred out, reports AFP.

Publication of the photos sparked outrage in France, where politicians’ private lives are still regarded as sacrosanct.

Gregoire Lafarge, Philippot’s lawyer, had argued in court that the magazine had not acted in the public interest, but purely to make money.

“Mr. Philippot is admittedly a public figure but he is not a celebrity and has always explained that sexuality is an intimate affair,” he said.

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But Delphine Pando, lawyer for Closer, argued the magazine had revealed the information in the public interest because of Philippot’s position in the National Front party, which was strongly divided on the issue of same-sex marriage.

The judge ruled Wednesday that Philippot’s “private life was not widely known and he never intended to publicly reveal it.”

Long rumored to be gay, Philippot has declined on numerous occasions to answer questions from reporters regarding his sexual orientation.

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