Michael Schumacher’s family are planning legal action against a German weekly magazine over an “interview” with the seven times Formula One champion that was generated by artificial intelligence.
A spokesperson for the Schumacher family, asked by Reuters for a comment on Wednesday, pointed to published reports of legal action.
The Ferrari great 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 in December 2013.
The latest edition of Die Aktuelle ran a front cover with a picture of a smiling Schumacher and the headline promising “Michael Schumacher, the first interview”.
The strapline added: “It sounded deceptively real.”
The supposed quotes by Schumacher read: “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.”
In the end, it emerged that the supposed quotes had been produced by AI.
Since Schumacher’s accident, his family has guarded his privacy, with access limited to those closest to him and little information given 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 Schumacher said in a 2021 Netflix documentary.
“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 son Mick is currently the Mercedes reserve driver in Formula One, after losing his seat at Haas at the end of last season.