Prince slams movie, wins lawsuit

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iol news pic albert and charlene REUTERS Prince Albert II of Monaco and Princess Charlene at the opening ceremony of the 37th Monte Carlo International Circus Festival in Monaco, this week. Picture: Reuters

Monaco - Princess Charlene and Prince Albert of Monaco fought for the reputation of the principality’s royal family this week, slamming a movie on Grace Kelly starring Nicole Kidman and winning damages from a British paper for saying Charlene had tried to flee Monaco ahead of her marriage.

Monaco’s Prince Albert and his sisters, Princess Caroline and Princess Stephanie, dismissed the screenplay for a film starring Nicole Kidman about their mother and former Hollywood actress Grace Kelly as glamourised fiction and said the film project Grace of Monaco contained “historical untruths” and that some parts were “purely fictional”.

The statement was intended to shoot down a story in a French magazine Paris Match, which said the Monaco royals had been reassured by producers about the credibility of director Olivier Dahan’s film project.

“Having in no way been associated with this project, Their Highnesses were quite surprised when they received the script,” said an e-mailed statement sent on Thursday.

“The palace had submitted many requests for changes to the producers of the film, not all of which were taken into consideration.” Hollywood star Grace Kelly married Albert’s father Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1956.

The palace said it would not tolerate the suggestion in Paris Match that Albert and his family supported the film.

Albert’s own glamour bride, former SA Olympic swimmer Charlene Wittstock, has often been compared to Princess Grace.

On Monday the royal couple received an apology and substantial damages from the London broadsheet, The Sunday Times over a story which suggested his marriage was a sham.

The High Court in London heard that the article – published two days after the Prince’s wedding to Charlene Wittstock – claimed that the bride-to-be was forced to hand over her passport at Nice airport to prevent her fleeing Monaco.

The Sunday Times also claimed that Princess Charlene had been reluctant to marry after discovering the existence of a love child but agreed to the wedding in return for a payment with a view to obtaining an annulment after a seemly interval. Lawyers for the paper admitted none of the allegations was true and apologised. The Prince sued for damages of £300 000, although the exact amount of the settlement was not disclosed. – Reuters and The Independent


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