April 27, 2000 08:43pm
Jail Terms Handed in Sex Scandal
(NICE, France) -- A Belgian stripper and two photographers were convicted of privacy violations Thursday, after the ex-husband of Monaco's Princess Stephanie charged they trapped him in embarrassing photos that ruined his marriage.
Daniel Ducruet brought the case after pictures of him frolicking with Fili Houteman, then the reigning Miss Nude Belgium, were published in Italian magazines in September 1996.
Stephanie was granted a speedy divorce from Ducruet the following month.
The magistrates' court in Nice found the three guilty of breaching the intimacy of Ducruet's private life.
Houteman and photographer Yves Hoogewys were given six-month suspended prison sentences. Photographer Stephane de Lisiecki, who Ducruet had accused of being the brains behind the operation, was given a one-year suspended sentence.
During the trial, Ducruet, who was Stephanie's bodyguard before his marriage into the royal family, told the court he had been set up and might even have been drugged when photos showing him in a poolside romp in a French villa with Houteman were taken in 1996.
Houteman told the court that she was not aware of any plot and had simply ``succumbed'' to Ducruet's advances. De Lisiecki had also said he was not guilty of scheming.
The scandal rocked Monaco, the tiny Riviera principality that has been ruled by the Grimaldi family for over 700 years. Stephanie is one of three children of Prince Rainier and the former American actress Grace Kelly who was killed in a car crash in 1982.
Stephanie and Ducruet had two children. Both were born before the couple married on July 1, 1995.