Michael Schumacher
Schumacher's family have urged media not to speculate over F1 legends recovery process and are keen to keep it private Getty

The family of Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher is reportedly preparing to take legal action against German publication Die Aktuelle after it published a misleading interview with the seven-time world champion which was generated by Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The magazine splashed a photo of Schumacher on the cover of their April 15 issue along with the label "exclusive interview."

The publication has received heavy backlash from the general public since the release of the issue, and the former racing driver's family confirmed to Reuters that there are plans to launch a legal battle against the publication for its latest attempt to disrespect Schumacher's privacy.

Michael Schumacher has not been seen in public since December 2013, when he suffered a near-fatal skiing accident in Meribel, France. The family has since been adamant about keeping him out of the public eye, with only his immediate family and very few close friends having been allowed to see him since. He is currently believed to be receiving the best possible care at the family estate in Switzerland.

And yet, despite the family's demand for privacy, Die Aktuelle claimed to have obtained an "exclusive interview" with the injured star. As if to hit back against the vague updates coming from family and close friends over the years, the magazine wrote: "No meagre, nebulous half-sentences from friends. But answers from him! By Michael Schumacher, 54!"

The "interview" is shockingly filled with fake quotes from the superstar. Speaking about his accident, Schumacher supposedly said: "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. I've had a tough time but the hospital team has managed to bring me back to my family."

He was also quoted as saying that the accident was "horrible" for his family and that his life has "completely changed since."

Finally, at the end of the piece, the publication then admitted that the "interview" was done online using an Artificial Intelligence chatbot called Character.ai, which was responsible for generating the fake quotes.

Needless to say, this did not go down well with Schumacher's fans. Many took to social media to slam the publication, calling the move "disgraceful" and "awful."

Schumacher's wife, Corinna, is expected to lead the legal battle against the publication, but she will be hoping to win the case this time after having previously lost a case against the same magazine in 2015. At that time, Die Aktuelle published a cover with Corinna's face and splashed it with the headline: "Corinna Schumacher – a new love makes her happy."

The story appeared to be misleading audiences into thinking that she had found a new love interest, but it was actually centred around the couple's daughter, Gina Marie.

The magazine has been toeing the line when it comes to stories connected to Schumacher over the years, and there is no love lost between the publication and the family. It remains to be seen if the clan will have the law on their side this time around.

Former Ferrari team principal Jean Todt, who is one of the few people who has seen Michael since the accident, has called on the public and the media to leave the family alone over the years. He has always tried to share updates, but they have been kept at a degree that left those interested wanting for more.

In a previous interview, Todt claimed that he sometimes watches F1 races with Schumacher. However, he did not reveal anything about his former driver's health condition. "We respect the privacy wishes of Corinna and her children, we know that that accident had consequences. Anyone who says he knows something, he knows nothing," said Todt.

Schumacher's son Mick previously drove for the Haas F1 team before moving to Mercedes to become a reserve driver this season. In a Netflix documentary released in 2021 titled "Schumacher", which was authorised by the family, he gave one of the biggest clues about his father's condition. In the film, he admitted that he would have loved to be able to discuss his F1 career with his father, who holds the joint record for most number of world championships won tied with Lewis Hamilton at seven trophies apiece.

"Michael is here. Different, but he's here, and that gives us strength, I find," Corinna said in the same documentary.