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The fallout from a German magazine’s ill-advised AI-generated interview with F1 legend Michael Schumacher continues, his family once again confirmed their plan to take legal action.
As you may know, the 7-time Formula 1 world champion hasn’t been seen in public since 2013. He sustained a severe brain injury while skiing in 2013 and his family has worked hard to maintain his privacy in the years since.
German magazine Die Aktuelle published the phony interview which included quotes attributed to Schumacher that he didn’t make.
“I can with the help of my team actually stand by myself and even slowly walk a few steps,” Schumacher — or rather an AI program — was quoted as saying. “My wife and my children were a blessing to me and without them I would not have managed it. Naturally they are also very sad, how it has all happened.
“They support me and are standing firmly at my side.”
The interview concluded with an admission that the entire interview had been generated using artificial intelligence.
There’s no denying that this was a disgusting stunt, one that the Schumacher family wouldn’t be happy with. Especially considering they’ve been at odds with the same magazine several times over the years.
ESPN’s Nate Saunders reported that the family was planning on taking legal action against Die Aktuelle. This was also corroborated by a confirmation to Reuters.
Schumacher’s Condition Is Unknown To The Public
Michael Schumacher’s wife Corinna and their kids, Gina and Mercedes F1 reserve driver, Mick, have been tight-lipped about his condition.
“We live together at home, we do therapy, we do everything we can to make Michael better and to make sure he’s comfortable, and to simply make him feel our family, our bond,” Corinna said in Netflix’s 2021 documentary film, Schumacher.
“We’re trying to carry on as a family, the way Michael liked it and still does. And we are getting on with our lives. ‘Private is private’, as he always said. It’s very important to me that he can continue to enjoy his private life as much as possible. Michael always protected us, and now we are protecting Michael.”
Schumacher’s F1 career began in 1991 with a one-off appearance for Jordan at the 1991 Belgian Grand Prix (Wild Fact: Schumacher was called in to deputize for the team’s full-time driver Bertrand Gachot who was in prison for assaulting a taxi driver).
Despite retiring early from the race on the opening lap with a clutch failure his performance in qualifying caught attention. Benetton (which currently races as Alpine) quickly hired him and he went on to win two championships with them.
Schumacher joined Ferrari in 1996 and went on to win 5-straight championships for the Scuderia from 2000 to 2004. He retired in 006, but returned to race three seasons for Mercedes from 2010 to 2012.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle