Michael Schumacher’s family awarded £200,000 in legal battle over fake interview

Michael Schumacher's family awarded £200,000 in legal battle over fake interview

The family of F1 legend Michael Schumacher has received £200,000 as settlement for a fake interview following a legal battle with a magazine.

Last year, a German women’s magazine published a fake interview with Michael Schumacher and the family of the F1 star later sued the publishers over the article.

The interview with Schumacher that Die Aktuelle published in April of last year turned out to be AI produced. Deceptively, Schumacher’s first interview since his 2013 skiing accident was published in the German weekly women’s magazine.

The seven-time world champion has been kept out of the spotlight by his family since suffering severe injuries in the incident. However, in last year’s edition Die Aktuelle shockingly published a picture of Schumacher smiling on the front cover.

The headline that accompanied the photo claimed that it was their “first interview” with the driving legend following his injuries and according to the story, Schumacher could stand by himself and even slowly walk a few steps.

Additionally, it stated that the star’s family is “very sad” about his accident. However, none of the claims made in Die Akutelle’s controversial piece appear to be true as another tagline alluded to the article’s use of artificial intelligence by saying it “sounds deceptively real.”

Although there was no byline on the article, the anonymous author did later in the piece indicate that artificial intelligence was used to create the quotes. The article offended Schumacher’s family, who promptly filed a lawsuit against the publisher, Funke Mediengruppe for the deceptive publication.

Ann Hoffmann, the magazine’s chief editor, was sacked by Funke and also apologized. However, according to Ubermedien, the Landesarbeitsgericht in Munich ruled in favour of the Schumachers and mandated that Funke pay £170,239 in damages.

“Funke apologizes to the Schumacher family for the reporting in the latest issue of “Die Aktuelle” about Michael Schumacher: This tasteless and misleading article should never have appeared,” a statement attributed to Funke magazine managing director Bianca Pohlmann reads.

Additionally, it is alleged that the court determined Hoffmann’s dismissal lacked legal validity. Hoffmann successfully argued that her dismissal was unjust, and the court decided that this was “not legally valid.”

The piece was heavily criticized and created a stir in the F1 paddock as well. A month after the magazine’s release, Schumacher’s former teammate Johnny Herbert spearheaded the criticism and attacked it.

“That German magazine interview was appalling,” he told ICE36. “This is the modern, mad world of AI and how dangerous it can be.

“That was a prime example of using it in completely the wrong way. I can understand the fascination with Michael because it is a story that has not had an ending yet.

“There is an endless fascination about Michael. I don’t have any contact with the family. It is all kept very tight.”

Leave a Reply