The saga has angered F1 fans globally, and the magazine’s publishers Funke Magazines have finally spoken up.
“This tasteless and misleading article should never have appeared,” said managing director Bianca Pohlmann.
“It in no way corresponds to the standards of journalism that we – and our readers – expect from a publisher like Funke.”
In addition to the apology issued to the Schumacher family, Die Aktuelle’s editor-in-chief Anne Hoffmann has been fired.
A press release issued by Funke stated that Hoffman had been responsible for journalism in the gossip sheet since 2009.
Under Hoffmann’s editorship, the magazine has exploited Schumacher’s health on several occasions.
A series of controversial cover-pages published by the weekly magazine Die Aktuelle
In 2014, Die Aktuell headlined an old photo of Schumacher with the quote “Wake up!” – The article wasn’t about Schumacher, but how others “felt when they woke up from their coma”.
In 2015, the magazine again used Schumacher’s image with the headline: “Sad Christmas – It’s time to let go…” – The article was based off of old quotes and rumours with no foundation.
Just three issues later, another Schumacher article was published with the headline: “Farewell to hope! – What remains is love and memories”. Another article based purely on speculation and marketed as fact.
Other articles by Die Aktuelle made use of events that happened before Schumacher’s skiing accident and were published years later. These included texts such as the F1 legend sending a message or sitting in the sun have been taken out of context and manipulated into an attempt to inspire hope and sell more magazines.
The latest insensitive article was slammed by media experts and journalists, branding the piece as “too stupid to be true”.