<
>

Michael Schumacher's family suing magazine over reports he can walk

Vladimir Rys/Bongarts/Getty Images

Michael Schumacher's family have taken a Germany magazine to court over a false report the seven-time world champion can walk again.

Last December, celebrity magazine Bunte published a front page story claiming Schumacher -- who suffered a serious head injury in a skiing accident two years' earlier -- was able to take a few steps with therapists and raise an arm. Schumacher's manager Sabine Kehm immediately refuted the story, calling the report "irresponsible" and saying it "gave false hopes to many involved people".

The Schumacher family has taken the magazine to court in Hamburg, with lawyer Felix Damm saying the story was not only false but breached privacy laws as they contained claims about the German's health. Since his accident the full extent of Schumacher's injuries have been kept secret, but as part of the lawsuit Damm has had to confirm he "cannot walk" as the report stated.

Bunte's defence team say the information came from a previously reliable informant -- named as "a friend of Schumacher" in the original article -- who had good knowledge of his condition. The judge presiding over the trial has indicated damages are likely to be awarded to the Schumacher family in the region of 40,000-100,000 Euros. A final verdict is expected in October, according to the Mirror.