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Pippa Middleton receives unwanted attention from paparazzi

Pippa Middleton won widespread praise for her Alexander McQueen dress at the royal wedding, but it's what she wore before the wedding that has the paparazzi clamoring for more and the royal family asking for legal intervention.

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The Middleton family's complaint cites four British tabloids — the News of the World, Daily Mail, the Mail on Sunday and the Daily Mirror — for publishing photos that violated family privacy, including those of the sisters and William on the luxury boat off the coast off the Mediterranean island of Ibiza.

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Other pictures of Pippa Middleton have also received wide exposure on the Internet and in various publications, including one of her dancing suggestively in a lavender bra and a flimsy white skirt with an unidentified man wearing boxer shorts. Sensitive pictures of younger brother James Middleton have also circulated on the Internet.

The independent press commission will determine whether the newspapers have violated the Middletons' privacy and whether there are any "public right to know" issues that might justify publication of the photos.

While freedom of speech is protected in the United States by the First Amendment, European law protects privacy as well as free expression, often leaving it to judges to balance the two competing concerns.

A key European Court of Human Rights judgment in 2004 bolstered privacy protection by ruling that three German magazines infringed on Princess Caroline of Monaco's privacy by publishing photos of her and her children at a Monaco beach club.

The recent British newspaper coverage, including front-page photos of Pippa Middleton in a bikini, reflects her status as a surprise star of the royal wedding.

Her appearance in a figure-flattering Alexander McQueen gown at the wedding has sparked a flurry of interest, including the establishment of a Pippa Middleton appreciation page on Facebook.

Experts believe her newfound fame offers a raft of commercial opportunities — but could be undone if more embarrassing photos surface.

Katrina Kutchinsky, managing director of KK Communications, which represents luxury restaurants and bars, said Pippa Middleton is in high demand on the London nightlife scene.

"She's definitely the hot ticket at the moment, my venues are trying to reach her, but she's very well protected," Kutchinsky said. "Everyone is talking about her."

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