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Pippa Middleton and the gun: Her Parisian party host apologizes

April 18, 2012|By Christie D'Zurilla
  • Pippa Middleton, maid of honor last year at her sister's royal wedding, stirred up a spot of trouble in Paris this week.
Pippa Middleton, maid of honor last year at her sister's royal wedding,… (Pascal Le Segretain / Getty…)

The incident that saw Pippa Middleton in the passenger seat of a car with an allegedly gun-wielding driver has earned its first apology – from the host of the “fancy dress” party the not-quite-royal sister-in-law had attended in Paris the night before.

Included in the apology? The assertion that the realistic-looking firearm was a toy.

Arthur de Soultrait, a French socialite, was another passenger Monday in the car with his old friend Middleton, whom he said was being followed by paparazzi at the time, as she had been all weekend.

“The car was being driven by a friend of mine, whom Pippa had only met a few hours before,” De Soultrait said in a statement, translated from French by People. “As a joke, my friend brandished a toy pistol in their direction.”

The Duchess of Cambridge’s younger sister did not, he said, find the joke funny.

De Soultrait on Sunday night had marked his 30th birthday and the seventh anniversary of his fashion line Vicomte A with an elaborate, all-night, 18th century-themed party reportedly attended by about 300 guests, Ms. Philippa among them. (Hint: He was the one wearing the dog collar.)

The driver has been identified as lawyer Romain Rabillard, 36, who, according to the Daily Mail, has on occasion advised a German small-arms manufacturer on legal matters.

Despite an early report that a witness had complained, Paris police have since told the Associated Press they'd received no complaint and were not investigating the incident. If they chose to do so, the parties involved could've been looking at years in jail for brandishing a gun – real or fake – in public in France.

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