A lawyer has revealed that seven-time Formula 1 world champion Michael Schumacher cannot walk at the beginning of a court case in Germany over false claims about his condition.
Schumacher (pictured above in 2012) sustained a severe head injury in a skiing accident in December 2013, one year after retiring from racing, that led to an extended spell in hospital in a medically-induced coma.
Schumacher’s manager Sabine Kehm confirmed in September 2014 that the German had returned home to continue his rehabilitation, but updates regarding his condition have been limited since then.
In December 2015, Kehm was forced to deny a report in German publication Bunte that Schumacher could walk again.
The celebrity magazine claimed a source had informed them Schumacher was able to raise an arm and take some steps with the help of his therapists.
“Unfortunately, we are forced by a recent press report to clarify that the assertion that Michael could move again is not true,” Kehm said.
“Such speculation is irresponsible, because given the seriousness of his injuries, his privacy is very important for Michael. Unfortunately they also give false hopes to many involved people.”
The claim made by Bunte is now the subject of a court case in Germany as the Schumacher family seeks damages of between €40,000 and €100,000 ($44,000 and $111,000) for the false report and an invasion of privacy.
“He cannot walk,” Felix Damm, the Schumacher family’s lawyer, confirmed at a court hearing in Hamburg.
Damm went on to add that he would not reveal the full extent of Schumacher’s condition solely to counter the report from Bunte.
A verdict on the case is expected next month.