The French dancer, who dated the Queen of Pop for three years until their split in 2013, was on a flight from Paris to Nice in 2014 when he found himself seated behind the founder of the right-wing National Front party.

Zaibat used the opportunity to take a photo of himself posing behind 87-year-old Le Pen, who had fallen asleep with his mouth wide open. He didn't share the unflattering image on social media until December (15), when the 29-year-old posted it on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter just before France's regional elections, and urged fans not to vote for the National Front due to its strict anti-immigration stance.

The snapshot was reposted more than 12,000 times on Twitter alone, and prompted Le Pen to sue Zaibat for 50,000 euros ($56,440/£38,830) for invasion of privacy and copyright, amid claims the photo harmed his public image and helped contribute to his party's election defeat.

The case was heard in a Paris court this week (begs08Feb16), when officials declared the post did not violate Le Pen's exclusive right to his image under French law. They also stated the picture, although used to send a political message, was "neither degrading nor malicious".

However, Zaibat was ordered to remove the offending post and fined a token one euro, but he was also slapped with 3,000 euros ($3,387/£2,331) in legal fees, reports The Local.

If he fails to take down the photo within 48 hours, he will be fined 1,000 euros ($1,129/£777) for every day it remains online.

Zaibat's lawyer, Vincent Toledano, is planning to appeal the fines.