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Legal Expert Says Rose Hanbury Doesn’t Have a ‘Good Case’ Against Stephen Colbert  (Exclusive)

Rose Hanbury served talk show host Stephen Colbert with a legal notice over his joke about the rumors she had an affair with Prince William and could take further action to squash it.

“If you really go back and listen to what Stephen Colbert said, he was really just saying there are rumors and people are speculating no different than you and I are here,” attorney Neama Rahmani, who is not affiliated with the case and doesn’t represent either party, exclusively told Us Weekly on Wednesday, March 20. “We’re just reporting what other people are speculating. We’re not saying that it’s absolutely true that Rose had an affair with William or putting out a definitive statement because of the nuanced nature of what Colbert said.”

According to Rahmani, Colbert, 59, didn’t state the rumors as fact, which wouldn’t make a “a good defamation case” for Hanbury.

During a March episode of his Late Night With Stephen Colbert talk show, Colbert joked about the rumors that Hanbury, 40, had an affair with William, 41, while discussing the conspiracy theories surrounding Princess Kate Middleton. According to In Touch, Hanbury then served Colbert with a notice asking Late Night and other news organizations to “confirm that the allegation is false.” Hanbury’s attorneys have also denied the affair rumors.

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The legal notice could be a catalyst for further court actions.

Feature Does Rose Hanbury Have a Defamation Case Over Prince William Affair Joke
Rose Hanbury Nick Harvey/WireImage

“She potentially can [sue], but I don’t think it’s going to be that good of a case,” Rahmani told Us. “These rumors have been going on for quite some time [and] obviously they resurfaced recently because of Kate’s disappearance and a doctored photo … Rose and [Princess] Kate [Middleton] have a relationship and there appears to have been a falling out.”

Hanbury is married to David Cholmondeley, 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley, and has been close to the royals — namely William and Kate, 42 — for several years. Their friendship ultimately led royal watchers to speculate that Hanbury and William had an extramarital affair.

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Related: Prince William and Kate Middleton’s Biggest Controversies Through the Years

Kensington Palace never officially addressed the claims, with a source telling Us Weekly in 2019 that the speculation affected the Prince and Princess of Wales’ relationship.

Does Rose Hanbury Have a Defamation Case Over Prince William Affair Joke 22
Stephen Colbert Scott Kowalchyk/CBS

“Kate finds the rumors hurtful, obviously, and hates the thought that one day her children will be able to read about them online,” the insider exclusively told Us in June 2019. “It forced her and William to sit back and examine their relationship, which they realized they should have been doing more often.”

Does Rose Hanbury Have a Defamation Case Over Prince William Affair Joke
Prince William, Kate Middleton, and Rose Hanbury. Stephen Pond/Getty Images

The affair rumors were recirculated earlier this year after the palace confirmed Kate’s leave of absence from her public duties after undergoing abdominal surgery in January. Kate has only been seen on occasion in blurry photos, leading social media users to speculate about her changing appearance. They’ve also theorized that the woman in the pictures is either Hanbury or a body double.

With reporting by Christina Garibaldi

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