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Thursday, 27 April, 2000, 16:39 GMT 17:39 UK
Monaco sex trap stripper sentenced
ducruet and stephanie
The couple had two children before the split
A former Miss Topless Belgium and two friends who staged a poolside sex trap which led to the break-up of Princess Stephanie of Monaco's marriage have been given suspended sentences.

Muriel "Fili" Mol-Houteman, 28, was found guilty of breaching France's strict privacy laws when she had sex with the princess' then-husband, Daniel Ducruet, at his house in the south of France, in full view of a photographer accomplice.

She was given a six month suspended sentence.

The photographer, Stephane de Lisiecki, 39, and his assistant Yves Hoogewys, 28, were given one year suspended sentences.

The photographs and video-footage, widely publicised in the Spanish and Italian press, led to the royal couple's divorce.

During the trial last month, the court heard that Mol-Houteman, who had previously met Mr Ducruet at a car-race, arrived unannounced at his house and tempted him into sex by his outdoor swimming-pool.

The prosecutor said it was a "trap, with purely finanical motives."

"Incredible opportunity"

The photographer's lawyer said there had been no plot, merely an "incredible opportunity for his client, which he would have been foolish not to make the most of".

Mr Ducruet, who was the princess's bodyguard before they married, was banished in disgrace by Monaco's Prince Rainier after pictures and a video became public.

He divorced the princess in 1996.

He says the three framed him by spiking his champagne so he would yield to the stripper as they sat by his swimming-pool.

Stephane De Lisiecki, who claims he spent FFr70,000 ($9,775) planning the shoot and sold his pictures for 250,000 francs ($34,910), has admitted organising the event at a Riviera villa.

But he said he was only hoping for a photograph of a kiss between Ducruet and the stripper.

Stripper Muriel Mol- Houteman said she had no idea she was being used as part of a scam.

The three were ordered to jointly pay Daniel Ducruet FFr200,000 ($27,930) in damages for breaches of privacy.

The court was more lenient than the state prosecutor who had recommended at last month's trial who had recommended prison sentences.

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