The Schumacher family sues Die Aktuelle magazine for publishing an "interview" with Michael
Yesterday the German magazine Die Aktuelle published a "sensational" material. On the cover there is a picture of Michael Schumacher and the headline reads "First interview with Michael Schumacher after his injury”. The magazine generated a wave of discussion, much of it outrage, as everyone understood the impossibility of such an interview.
Back in 2013, on December 29, Michael Schumacher, seven-time world champion, was vacationing with his family in the Alps and crashed at a ski resort. This news shocked not only the F1 community, but also the whole world: Michael's name was on everyone's lips. After that, the whole family Schumacher carefully keeps the state of the great pilot in secret from the public, not wanting to attract unnecessary attention. They did not manage to keep Michael from everything: in 2016, journalists said that unknown people offered them to buy Michael's photo after the accident for one million euros, and then these photos ended up on the Internet, although their authenticity is not known. And many people are trying to make money on the story of Michael's accident. So in 2014, another publication printed an issue with Michael and Corinna on the cover and the title "Awakened" - to illustrate an article about people coming out of comas.
Michael's social circle is limited to family members, doctors, and only a few people close to him and the family. Whenever possible, these individuals make statements about Michael's condition, although they are very vague and no exact data is available. Fans are left to theorize from the data that is available. Even the Netflix documentary "Schumacher" didn't provide any clarity, although family members and many others have said many things about Michael and not just his past.
And then, this week, an issue of German magazine Die Aktuelle comes out with a photo of Schumacher and a stunning headline about his first interview since 2013. Many went into shock and therefore failed to notice the ingenious, albeit dirty, marketing move. In fact, the interview was created by artificial intelligence based on Michael's old interviews, and there is such a postscript on the cover of the magazine, though in small print.
"After 2013, my lifestyle changed completely. It was a terrible time for my wife and children. I was so severely traumatized that I was in an induced coma for months because my body couldn't take it all. I feel much better now than I did a few years ago. I can even stand with the help of my family and walk a few steps slowly. My wife and kids have been a blessing to me, I couldn't have made it without them. Gina and Mick? Yes, of course, I enjoy watching them, they both make me and the whole family proud. As for appearing in public in the future, I have to be extremely careful, as I don't want people to think things about me, primarily in a negative way."
This is exactly what was said by "Michael Schumacher". Those who didn't see the refrain about artificial intelligence wondered, and only later realized that it wasn't true. The main idea of the magazine was that you need a paid subscription to read this article. Fans of the Red Baron must have immediately bought into such black PR.
Of course, this whole situation caused the indignation of the Schumacher family. The next day it became known that the family of the great driver sues the publication of the interview and they are very serious. It is not known what decision the court will take. On the one hand, on the cover it is written directly that "the interview is almost real", but on the other hand, there is also a phrase "no scarce information from friends, all answers are from Michael Schumacher personally". But it is obvious that even having earned on such a "sensation", the German magazine seems to pay many times more.