Michael Schumacher fans incensed after 'disgusting' magazine article

The German publication has been condemned over an article described as "disgusting" and "tasteless".

Pictured left is the cover of a German magazine slammed over a controversial Michael Schumacher article.
Michael Schumacher's family is set to take legal action against a German magazine over an article that has been condemned by fans. Pic: Twitter/Getty

A German magazine is facing potential legal action after being condemned over a "fake" article about Formula One legend Michael Schumacher that it prompted as an “exclusive interview” with the stricken icon. Schumacher, widely regarded as the greatest driver in F1 history, suffered catastrophic head injuries in a skiing accident in the French Alps in 2013.

The Ferrari legend's condition still remains a mystery 10 years on, with his wife Corrina notoriously private and unwilling to provide updates on his health to fans or the media. Suffice to say, fans are also curious to hear of any updates about the 54-year-old's condition on the rare occasions either his wife or closest friends provide anything.

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However, German outlet Die Aktuelle sparked uproar after claiming to have an exclusive interview with the motorsport icon, whose smiling face was plastered over the front cover of the publication. The magazine sold it as "the first interview” he'd given since the accident and added: “No meagre, nebulous half-sentences from friends. But answers from him! By Michael Schumacher, 54!”

Quotes from the supposed interview with Schumacher include: “My life has completely changed since [the accident]. That was a horrible time for my wife, my children and the whole family. I was so badly injured that I lay for months in a kind of artificial coma, because otherwise my body couldn’t have dealt with it all. I’ve had a tough time but the hospital team has managed to bring me back to my family.”

At the end of the feature piece, however, the magazine explained that they actually used artificial intelligence - an AI chatbot, reported to be - to generate the responses to their questions. Fans were understandably incensed with the magazine's decision to run the article, with many labelling it "tasteless" and “disgraceful”.

A spokesperson for the Schumacher family confirmed to ESPN that they intend to take legal action against the publication. It's not the first time Die Aktuelle has exploited the Schumacher family to generate interest in its magazine, with the magazine pulling another nefarious stunt in 2014.

The magazine had a photo of Michael and Corinna on the front cover with the title ‘Awake’, suggesting an apparent breakthrough for the coma-stricken star. However, the article actually focused on individuals who have woken up from a coma, as opposed to Schumacher himself.

The same magazine also won a legal case against the Schumacher family the following year after a front cover stating: 'A new love' had entered Corinna's life. The article turned out to be about the couple's daughter Gina and not another romantic love interest for the F1 icon's devoted wife.

German media commentator Boris Rosenkranz said the latest article was “too stupid to be true” in a comment piece he wrote in response. Many other critics who derided the magazine piece were happy to hear that the Schumacher family plans to sue the publication.

Michael Schumacher's wife lives 'like a prisoner'

Schumacher's former team boss Eddie Jordan last month revealed that the Ferrari icon's wife Corinna lives "like a prisoner" as she fights to maintain his privacy.

Jordan - who gave Schumacher his first drive in F1 at the Belgian Grand Prix in 1991 - provided an insight into how Corinna lives her life.

“This was the most horrific situation for (son) Mick and Corinna,” Jordan told The Sun. “It’s been nearly 10 years now and Corinna has not been able to go to a party, to lunch or this or that. She’s like a prisoner because everyone would want to talk to her about Michael when she doesn’t need reminding of it every minute.”

Corinna has imposed a strict 'family only' rule in terms of the people who are allowed to visit her husband. In an interview with sports betting firm OLBG last month, Jordan revealed how Schumacher's son Mick reached out to him and provided new details about his father's condition.

Seen here, F1 great Michael Schumacher poses with his wife Corinna in 2010.
F1 great Michael Schumacher poses with his wife Corinna after being awarded with the French Legion of Honor in 2010. Pic: Getty

Jordan said he was previously denied by Corrina after asking if he could pay Schumacher a visit, and made the sad revelation that the stricken legend is "there but not there". He said: "I reached out and one stage asked was it appropriate and did I think we should go and visit him.

"The answer was no. No visitations for anyone at that moment except the actual direct family. However, since then, young Mick Schumacher - Michael's son - has reached out to me, and he has been extraordinary.

"It touched me because I felt so much about Michael, I went out of my way to find him, give him his first chance in Spa, didn't last very long but that love for him still lasts and will always do so while I'm able to draw breaths. As far as I'm concerned, I was touched by it. And the reason I was touched by it was because it can't be easy knowing that your father is not able to be part of the family, he's there but he's not there."

with agencies

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