The picture editor of Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper says he sees up to 400 photographs of the Duchess of Cambridge’s sister, Pippa Middleton, cross his desk every day.
Paul Silva says the younger sister of the former Kate Middleton typically has eight or nine photographers camped outside her door and estimated that they produce between ‘‘300 to 400 pictures’’ of her daily.
Silva was answering questions at the Leveson Inquiry, a judge-led investigation into the ethics of the country’s media.The inquiry was set up in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal centred on Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World and has heard from celebrities who say they were hounded by paparazzi.
Middleton, a party planner with her family's entertainment business, has been under the full glare of the media spotlight since she was bridesmaid at her sister's wedding to Prince William in April last year, when she was nicknamed "'Her Royal Hotness'' by the UK media.
Silva told the inquiry he saw no need to constantly run photographs of her and the newspaper had reduced its coverage since the royal wedding.
"There is no reason to photograph her when she is out and about doing her own thing," he said.
"At the moment there are nine or 10 agencies outside her house [on any given day]. If she goes to get coffee, she goes back into her house, we get 300 to 400 pictures … There is no justification for using them."
He said the newspaper had also adopted a policy of not using pictures of Middleton going about her everyday business.
The the UK's Press Complaints Commission issued a harrassment warning to newspaper editors in the lead up to the royal wedding after the Daily Mail splashed a pictures of Ms Middleton and mother Carole out shopping.
The Mail on Sunday and two other British newspapers also reportedly removed pictures of the Middleton women frolicking in bikinis from their websites following complaints after the family was photographed holidaying in Ibiza, taken in 2006.
Meanwhile, a lawyer for the newspaper group has told the Leveson inquiry actor Hugh Grant was ‘‘reckless’’ when he claimed the Mail on Sunday newspaper hacked into his voice mails
Grant told the inquiry in November his messages must have been intercepted for a 2007 story claiming he received late- night phone calls from a ‘‘plummy voiced studio executive.’’
At the moment there are nine or 10 agencies outside her house [on any given day].
The paper’s description of the woman’s voice wasn’t proof it listened to the actor’s voice mails, Liz Hartley, a lawyer for UK publisher Daily Mail & General Trust Plc said today at the inquiry.
‘‘To make a very serious allegation against us on something as thin as this was not something that should have been done,’’ Hartley said in her testimony. ‘‘I don’t think that’s a reasonable inference. It’s not the sort of detail you would have got from a voice mail interception.’’
Grant, who starred in the comedy ‘‘Notting Hill,’’ has become an unofficial spokesman for victims of Glenn Mulcaire, the News of the World’s former private investigator who police say hacked about 800 phones before his arrest in 2006.
News Corp. closed the News of the World in July to contain public anger over revelations the tabloid hacked into a murdered schoolgirl’s phone in 2002, when she was still missing.
Judge Brian Leveson, who is overseeing the inquiry, told Hartley she was accusing Grant of perjury. Robert Jay, a lawyer for the inquiry, said Grant’s claim was based on a reasonable assumption about the facts in the news article.
AP and agencies