Duchess Sarah Ferguson: Topless Photos of Kate Are 'Devastating'
updated 09/17/2012 AT 10:55 AM EDT
•originally published 09/17/2012 AT 07:00 AM EDT
Currently embroiled in a photo scandal (but maintaining a brave face), Kate Middleton is on the receiving end of some sympathy from an unexpected supporter: Duchess Sarah Ferguson, who once expressed hurt over her exclusion from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's wedding guest list.
Ferguson, after all, can relate to Kate's situation. It was 20 years ago that she found herself in a similarly unwelcome spotlight, when racy pictures surfaced documenting her topless rendezvous with American businessman John Bryan.
"I have been there and know what it's like," the Duchess of York, 52, told the U.K.'s Daily Mail. "Everyone is entitled to privacy. It is a devastating invasion of one's personal inner space. It is deplorable, abhorrent and despicable."
Ferguson went on to compliment Middleton, 30, who arrived in the Solomon Islands Sunday as part of the royal couple's tour of South Asia. "She is a beautiful young woman doing a great job for the country," she said. "Why should she be stripped of that moment with her husband?"
Ferguson's own 1992 photo scandal came on the heels of her split from Prince Andrew – and preceded her more recent public shaming, in which she was caught in the middle of a cash-for-access scandal in 2010.