Update: Heads roll as Schumacher article gets serious

The big update is that heads roll as a chief editor of 14 years has been dismissed with Michael Schumacher’s family to sue German media after the publication of a fake interview generated by Artificial Intelligence. The Schumacher family has decided to react and is expected to sue the German media that published the false information.

The Schumacher family has been very guarded when it comes to publishing any information in relation to Michael ever since his sking accident in 2013. The German – who suffered a serious brain injury – was then taken to his home in Switzerland where a medical room was built to provide him with all the necessary care.




Family guards privacy 

The Schumacher family has protected Michael Schumacher’s privacy ever since, limiting visits to only those closest to him, while very little information about his condition has been released since.

For almost ten years now, not a week goes by without a media article on Michael Schumacher, some of them not hesitating to publish false information on the German’s health or to take out of context some quotes from Schumacher’s relatives.

The Schumacher family maintains that they are the only ones who can provide official information about Michael Schumacher’s health.



Close friend talks about Michael

The only person who seems to be of any reliability when it comes to Schumacher updates is former Ferrari boss and ex FIA president, Jean Todt. The Frenchman remains a very close friend of the family and Michael.

“I don’t miss Michael, I can see him. But of course, what I miss is what we used to do together,” said Todt in an interview with German TV channel NTV. 

“It’s true that I still watch F1 races with him.”  and that “Michael is […] very special,” he said.

If Todt spends time with the seven-time world champion, he also spends time with his family.

“Corinna, Mick and Gina have also become special to me. They have all become family to me, to my wife and to my son.”



“For me he was God”

Daniel Ricciardo also has great memories of the man himself, in the twilight of Schumacher’s career, but just as the Australian started his F1 journey.

“I was very intimidated at the time…” says Daniel Ricciardo recalls an anecdote from the 2012 Grand Prix in Japan, when he was driving for Toro Rosso, and Schumacher for Mercedes:

“I was defending on Schumacher during the last part of the race and I got the point for tenth place. I was still very intimidated at the time. On a personal level, it was huge.


“At the next race, during the drivers’ parade, he came to congratulate me and said: ‘Good job last week, you defended well,

“For me to get a confirmation from someone like him, at my age and at this stage of my career, was something huge. Maybe he didn’t realise it at the time, but it boosted my confidence.”


“For me he was God. When he caught me, I would never have bet on the fact that I would hold him back for the next ten laps! The fact that I felt such a level of comfort defending surprised me, I was surprised myself by my performance in the race.”


Such stories and accounts of Michael Schumacher appear to be rather personal and geniune, unlike the latest news story in the Germany media of which the Schumacher family intends to fight.


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Family take legal action

Michael Schumacher’s family is planning to take legal action against a German weekly newspaper for an “interview” with the seven-time Formula One world champion generated by Artificial Intelligence.

The latest edition of the German media Die Aktuelle featured a cover with a picture of a smiling Michael Schumacher and a racy headline “Michael Schumacher, the first interview”.



Inside, it appeared that the supposed quotes from the seven-time world champion had been produced by Artificial Intelligence.

This practice is obviously scandalous and Michael Schumacher’s family has confirmed to Reuters news agency that legal action will most certainly be taken against the weekly magazine in the coming days.

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UPDATE: Editor-in-chief of “Die Aktuelle” dismissed

The Funke media group – which publishes the magazine Die Aktuelle – announced on Saturday that the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Anne Hoffman, had been dismissed with immediate effect following the publication this week of a fake interview with Michael Schumacher.

This outrageous practice obviously shocked the German driver’s fans, as well as his family, who confirmed to the Reuters news agency that legal action would most certainly be taken against the weekly magazine in the coming days.


Action taken as editor dismissed

However, the Funke media group – which publishes the magazine Die Aktuelle – announced on Saturday that editor-in-chief Anne Hoffman had been sacked with immediate effect following the publication of the “insipid and misleading” article.

“Funke apologises to the Schumacher family for the report on Michael Schumacher in the latest issue of “die aktuelle”. This tasteless and misleading article should never have been published,” reads a press release from the Funke Group.

“It does not correspond to the standards of journalism that we – and our readers – expect from a publisher like Funke.

“Following the publication of this article, personal consequences will be drawn immediately. The editor-in-chief of “die aktuelle”, Anne Hoffmann, who has been responsible for the newspaper since 2009, will be relieved of her duties as of today.”




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