Pippa Middleton Caught in Gun Drama
Pippa Middleton Caught in Gun Drama, Pippa Middleton Caught in Gun-Wielding Scandal, The royal sister-in-law could face criminal charges after a bizarre run-in on the streets of Paris. Pippa Middleton, the sister-in-law of England's presumptive future king, could face criminal charges after a male companion was reportedly caught brandishing a gun and allegedly pointing it at a photographer following the pair in Paris.
Middleton, 28, was in the passenger seat of an Audi convertible with three male friends Sunday when the driver allegedly reached for a semi-automatic gun and jokingly aimed it at a paparazzi following them, London newspaper The Sun reported.
The image, released to the Sun by the French photographer at whom the pistol was aimed, shows Middleton, the younger sister of the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, looking back at the paparazzo and grinning as her friend, the driver, reaches down and aims what appears to be the gun.
The paper reported that the Paris Judicial Police department is "poised" to launch a probe into the incident. Charges could result in prison sentences of up to seven years for all four people in the car, or a two-year sentence if the gun turns out to be a fake, a source told the Sun.
"If the evidence points to her involvement, she will be prosecuted. Anybody involved in the illegal use of a handgun in public is liable to arrest and interrogation," the source said.
The French photographer is still weighing whether to file a formal police complaint, the Sun's royal editor, Duncan Larcombe, confirmed today on "Good Morning America."
"We're told he isn't ruling anything out yet," Larcombe said.
Middleton was reportedly in Paris to attend a costume birthday party at the Chez Raspoutine as a guest of fashion label owner Arthur de Soultrait, also a passenger in the car when the gun incident occurred.
"Pippa is a party girl. She mixes now in very high society and they don't come very higher than this group of French aristocratic sons," Larcombe said of the three men Middleton was photographed with.
The gaffe is a rare misstep for Middleton, who was dubbed "Her Royal Hotness" and became a target of paparazzi after she wowed onlookers as a bridesmaid at her sister's wedding to Prince William last April.
It was revealed in January that lawyers for Middleton sent a cease-and-desist letter around to six media agencies that distribute paparazzi photographs worldwide. The letter was said to warn the agencies that unless their photographers stop following Middleton, she will pursue legal action, which could include an injunction and legal costs.
Just prior to the letter being sent, the picture editor for U.K.'s Daily Mail newspaper reported that 400 photographs of Middleton cross his desk every single day.
Middleton, who lives in London and works for her family's party-planning business, was last said to be back in a serious romance with her old flame, George Percy, an heir to the Duke of Northumberland, one of Britain's grandest and richest titles.
"Pippa has been photographed; she's been coached on how to behave," Larcombe said. "If she's photographed by an unwanted freelance photographer, she smiles, she keeps her head up and she lets the lawyers doing the arguing behind the scenes. She knows much better than this."
Adding to potential trouble for Middleton is the fact that the incident happened in Paris, a city on high alert when it comes to guns after a string of killings swept and shocked the city earlier this year.
Paris is also the city where, in 1997, England's most famous royal, Princess Diana, the mother of Prince William, died in a car crash after being chased by paparazzi.
Buckingham Palace, which does not officially represent Middleton because she is not a member of the royal family, has not commented on the incident.
"I think often by what they're not saying can often say more and I think there are some very nervous people behind the scenes right now," Larcombe said.
"I think, in fairness to her [Pippa], it will be interesting to know whether she told this guy off after he'd done something as stupid as this or whether she thinks it was all a big joke because in the pictures, unfortunately for her, it does look as though she found the funny side of it," he said.