Michael Schumacher’s lawyer explains lack of ‘final report’ on F1 star’s health

Schumacher suffered life-changing injuries in a skiing accident nearly 10 years ago but his medical condition has been shrouded in secrecy ever since

Kieran Jackson
Monday 30 October 2023 16:23 GMT
Michael Schumacher’s Wife Gives Update On His Condition

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Michael Schumacher’s family lawyer Felix Damm has revealed the reason no “final report” has been publicised on the F1 star’s health: “It’s all about protecting private things.”

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has not been seen publicly since suffering a near-fatal brain injury while skiing in December 2013 in Meribel, France.

His wife Corinna has insisted on protecting Schumacher’s privacy in the near 10 years since, with his medical condition shrouded in secrecy as he continues to recover at home in Switzerland.

Damm, who acts as a representative for the Schumacher family, has now given more detail as to why those close to the Ferrari icon don’t want to publicise details about his health.

“It was always about protecting private things,” Damm told German outlet LTO. “We considered whether a final report about Michael’s health could be the right way to do this.

“But that wouldn’t have been the end of it and there would have had to be constantly updated ‘water level reports’ and it would not have been up to the family when the media interest in the story stopped.”

The lawyer also emphasised how the precedent of “voluntary self-disclosure” would have made the past 10 years even more difficult for the Schumacher family should intricate health details be made public.

Damm added: “They [the media] could pick up on such a report again and again and as ‘and what does it look like now?’ one, two, three months or years after the message. If we then wanted to take action against this reporting, we would have to deal with the argument of voluntary self-disclosure.

Michael Schumacher has not been seen publicly for nearly 10 years
Michael Schumacher has not been seen publicly for nearly 10 years (Getty)

“If it is not the person concerned himself but friends or acquaintances who disclose private information, it is not a case of ‘voluntary self-disclosure’ of privacy.

“Therefore, the data subject can defend himself against disclosure of private circumstances even if the information comes from an acquaintance.”

Former Ferrari boss Jean Todt has a close relationship with the Schumacher family, revealing last year he has seen the German three times a week on some occasions – adding that the 54-year-old is in the “best of hands… surrounded by people who love him.”

Todt also said as recently as last July that he still watches F1 races with Schumacher despite the German’s unknown medical state.

“I don’t miss Michael, I see him,” Todt told German broadcaster RTL. “Yes, it’s true, I watch grand prix with Michael. But sure, I guess what I miss is what we used to do together.”

Former Ferrari boss Jean Todt (left) has a close relationship with the Schumacher family
Former Ferrari boss Jean Todt (left) has a close relationship with the Schumacher family (AFP via Getty Images)

Schumacher’s son Mick lost his F1 race seat at Haas last year and is now a reserve driver at Mercedes, who Michael drove for from 2010-2012.

Todt is a close friend of Schumacher’s since their time working together during a successful era at Ferrari, when the German won five of his seven world titles from 2000-2004.

In April, an editor of a German magazine was sacked after the Die Aktuelle publication used artificial intelligence to produce fake quotes from Schumacher.

The magazine was labelled “disgraceful” by fans online for depicting the AI responses as an “exclusive interview” on their 15 April front cover.

In a Netflix documentary which aired in 2021 titled Schumacher, Corinna detailed how his family have dealt with the situation and continue to “get on with their lives.”

Schumacher’s wife Corinna (left) has insisted on protecting the F1’s icon privacy after his near-fatal skiing accident
Schumacher’s wife Corinna (left) has insisted on protecting the F1’s icon privacy after his near-fatal skiing accident (AFP via Getty Images)

“Michael is here. Different, but he’s here, and that gives us strength, I find,” Corinna said.

“We’re together. 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. And no matter what, I will do everything I can. We all will.

“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.”

Corinna was in attendance to collect an award last July on behalf of husband Michael, with daughter Gina and Todt joining her to collect the State Prize of North Rhine-Westphalia - the highest civilian honour available to those born within the region.

Schumacher holds the joint-record for the most Formula 1 world titles with Lewis Hamilton.

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