Pippa Middleton under fire over Paris gun incident
Pippa Middleton , sister of Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, watches Sweden's Robin Soderling playing France's Gilles Simon during their fourth round match of the French Open tennis tournament, at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Monday, May 30, 2011. (AP / Lionel Cironneau)
Published Monday, April 16, 2012 1:45PM EDT
A royal sister-in-law may be in some royal trouble after photos surfaced of an apparent firearm incident on the streets of Paris over the weekend.
"Smirking gun" shrieked the headline of the British tabloid The Sun, which published exclusive photos of a smiling Pippa Middleton in a car with a friend, who is pointing a handgun at a photographer.
In the photographs, Middleton can be seen in the front passenger seat of a black Audi convertible, while two men are in the back seat.
In the most damning photo, the male driver has turned around in his seat and has what appears to be a handgun pointed right at the photographer's lens. In that photograph, Middleton is also turned looking backward.
The Sun had not confirmed whether the gun was real. But the paper reported that Paris police "were poised to launch a probe," and said Middleton herself could be arrested in the case.
The Sun quoted a source as saying that brandishing a gun in public is punishable by up to seven years in jail for anyone involved in the incident. Brandishing a fake gun carries a jail sentence of two years, the paper said.
The incident marks the first bit of negative publicity for a young woman who shot to fame when her sister, Kate, married Prince William last year.
Her backside garnered particular attention after she was photographed from behind wearing her clinging white bridesmaid gown.
The 27-year-old has since been photographed attending Wimbledon, shopping on High Street and running through London, with tabloids breathlessly recounting up-to-the-minute details of her personal life.
But the incident shows incredibly poor judgment in a country reeling from a recent spate of shootings in Toulouse that left seven people dead.