A French magazine is defending its decision to publish paparazzi photos of actor and filmmaker George Clooney's newborn twins on its cover.
Blurry, candid images of the Hollywood star and his wife, international human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, holding the infants appear on the cover of France's Voici.
The magazine, which shared the cover on Friday, touted the images as an exclusive and "the very first pictures of the twins," who were born in London in early June. Though the couple released a brief statement about the birth, they had not yet released an official image.
Voici, which claimed the images were captured in Lake Como, Italy, where Clooney owns a waterfront villa, justified the publishing of the photos on Friday, arguing that the Clooneys are high profile figures who garner much interest from the public.
"The images published in Voici this Friday are a response to a public demand. People love George Clooney and have been following his life story for years now. Those pictures do not put in danger Mr. Clooney, his wife or their kids," the magazine said in a statement.
Hollywood A-lister Clooney, however, blasted Voici's actions as illegal.
"Over the last week photographers from Voici magazine scaled our fence, climbed our tree and illegally took pictures of our infants inside our home," Clooney said in an earlier statement.
"Make no mistake the photographers, the agency and the magazine will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The safety of our children demands it."
Celebrities and the Royal Family have long criticized paparazzi photographers and tabloid publications targeting their offspring.
In California, actors including Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner helped urge legislation — signed in 2013 — establishing tough penalties for aggressive photographers and videographers seeking images of children in a harassing manner and without consent.
In 2014, photo agency Corbus Images UK paid a hefty settlement for publishing unauthorized, paparazzi images of British singer Adele and her young son.