Foreign press flocks to follow up story

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The Independent Online
THE PRESS Complaints Commission has received only one written complaint about newspaper coverage of the relationship between the Duchess of York and the American oil tycoon John Bryan. It was 'stunned' by the absence of reaction, a spokesman said yesterday. The foreign press meanwhile flocked to follow up the story.

Despite a series of increasingly revealing intimate photographs of the two taken while on holiday in the south of France published in the Daily Mirror and the Sun, public reaction has been confined to buying up every available copy of the papers.

The press commission said that speculation about the Prince and Princess of Wales's marriage prompted nearly 400 telephone calls in a week, with a further 70 written complaints.

Meanwhile Mr Bryan, the Duchess's financial adviser, continued to pursue legal action to prevent publication of the photographs in France. He was granted an injunction earlier this week ordering the seizure of the photographs, their negatives and any reproductions from Daniel Angeli, who took the photographs.

The French magazine Paris Match is also seeking to lift restrictions on publishing the story in France. Extensive publication in Britain makes the restrictions pointless, they argue. Belgian daily, La Lanterne reproduced yesterday's Mirror front page in colour on the front page and then in black and white on its back page beneath the headline, in English, 'Sea, Sex and Sarah Ferguson'. Another Belgian daily, Le Soir, also shows its readers what yesterday's Mirror readers saw.

The Turin daily La Stampa headlined the affair 'Monarchy in the mud', while Switzerland's French-language tabloid Le Matin, which has carried some of the pictures claimed they had 'provoked the most serious royal crisis since the 1936 abdication of Edward VIII'. France's Le Parisien said: 'Fergie takes top off, crown trembles,' In Germany, Bild ran the headline: 'Fergie naked during love play. Her child looked on'. The New York Daily News called the Duchess 'The Duchess of Vulgarity', while the Star, a weekly tabloid, promised to give the story nationwide coverage today.