German Magazine Editor Is Fired Over Fake Michael Schumacher Interview

The writer of a German journal that ran what it described as a “world sensation” interview with the retired Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher, however used responses written by synthetic intelligence, has fired the journal’s editor and apologized to Mr. Schumacher’s household.

Mr. Schumacher, 54, retired from public life after he suffered a mind harm in a snowboarding accident almost a decade in the past, and his household has guarded his privateness fiercely since then. The entrance cowl of the April 15 subject of the superstar journal Die Aktuelle promoted the interview with Mr. Schumacher, who’s German, as his first because the accident: “das erste interview.”

The entrance cowl included the phrases “It sounds deceptively actual,” hinting that the interview may not be what it appeared.

Inside the journal, quotations from Mr. Schumacher about his household and well being appeared alongside images of him smiling and images of his kids. The article defined that every one the quotations attributed to Mr. Schumacher had been generated by synthetic intelligence.

Mr. Schumacher’s household has been identified for sustaining privateness over his well being since he hit his head on a rock whereas snowboarding at Méribel, a resort within the French Alps, in December 2013. Doctors mentioned on the time that his situation was severe and that he was “ preventing for his life.” Few particulars about his well being have emerged since then.

Sabine Kehm, a spokeswoman for Mr. Schumacher’s household, mentioned in an e-mail on Monday that the household was planning to take authorized motion towards Die Aktuelle.

Funke Media Group, which publishes Die Aktuelle, apologized to the household in an announcement on Friday and mentioned that the journal’s editor in chief, Anne Hoffmann, had been fired due to the article. She had run the journal since 2009, the assertion mentioned. Reports that Mr. Schumacher’s household was planning to take authorized motion first appeared earlier than Ms. Hoffmann was let go.

“This vulgar and deceptive article ought to have by no means been printed,” Funke Media Group’s managing director, Bianca Pohlmann, mentioned in an emailed assertion, including that it didn’t meet the corporate’s journalistic requirements “in any form or type that we and our readers anticipate.” from a writer like Funke.”

When mr. Schumacher retired in 2012, he was essentially the most profitable Formula 1 driver in historical past. He gained the world championship a file seven instances and gained a record-setting 91 Grand Prix races.

These feats have been matched solely by Lewis Hamilton, the British driver who tied Mr. Schumacher’s seven-championship file in 2020. That identical 12 months, Mr. Hamilton topped Mr. Schumacher’s Grand Prix file, and he has gone on to win a complete of 103 races.

Mr. Schumacher’s son, Mick Schumacher, can also be a Formula 1 driver, serving because the reserve driver for Mr. Hamilton’s Mercedes group after two seasons with the Haas group.

Little details about Michael Schumacher’s life after the snowboarding accident has been made public. His household mentioned in September 2014 that it had moved him from a hospital to the household’s property in Gland, Switzerland, on the shores of Lake Geneva.

His spouse, Corinna Schumacher, mentioned within the 2021 documentary “Schumacher” that “all people misses Michael, however Michael is right here.”

“Different, however he is right here, and that provides us energy, I discover,” she mentioned.

“We’re collectively, we reside collectively at residence,” Ms. Schumacher mentioned. “We do remedy, we do all the pieces we are able to to make Michael higher and to verify he is snug, and to easily make him really feel our household, our bond.”

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