Michael Schumacher’s family are planning to take legal action against a German magazine which published an “interview” with the seven-time F1 champion generated by artificial intelligence.
The 54-year-old has not been seen in public since he suffered a serious brain injury in a skiing accident on a family holiday in the French Alps almost a decade ago.
The latest edition of Die Aktuelle ran a front cover with a picture of a smiling Schumacher and the headline: “Michael Schumacher, the first interview.”
A strapline underneath read “it sounded deceptively real” – as it emerged the supposed quotes had been produced by AI.
Few details have been shared publicly about the German driver’s condition since his accident and only close friends have been allowed to visit the Ferrari great.
A spokesperson for the Schumacher family confirmed to the Reuters news agency they are planning to pursue the matter legally.
Schumacher was skiing with family in the French Alps in December 2013 when he hit the right side of his head on a rock, splitting his helmet open.
He was left with blood clots on his brain and was in a coma for some time.
The sporting legend has been receiving round-the-clock care at his home in Switzerland since September 2014, where family members have tried to protect his privacy.
“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,” his wife Corinna Schumacher said in a 2021 Netflix documentary.
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“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.”