Michael Schumacher’s manager said a journalist posing as a priest tried to sneak into Schumacher’s hospital room in Grenoble.
Schumacher is “the most successful driver in Formula One history,” with seven wins under his belt, according to Deutsche-Welle. Earlier this week, he sustained a head injury in a skiing accident in the French Alps. “The blow to his head caused extensive bleeding in his brain,” National Public Radio reported. “Doctors induced a coma and have operated twice in a bid to reduce swelling.”
According to French news agency Agence France-Presse, Schumacher’s manager, Sabine Kehm, said “There apparently was a person dressed-up as a priest, who tried to get near Michael. I am asking everyone to let the doctors work and leave the family spend peaceful time with Michael.”
Kehm added that she “was told” the priest impersonator was a journalist and added, “We have clearly noted that people are trying to get beyond the press room here in the clinic. It’s revolting, in my opinion.”
The Guardian has video of some of Kehm’s comments about the incident. Kehm added that she wasn’t sure if the disguised priest was a journalist or photographer, but that it was a press person.
Brain surgeon and Schumacher family friend Gerard Saillant also requested privacy for the family, according to the Australian Associated Press. To journalists, he said, “You can do your best to help Schumacher win this difficult battle by leaving the doctors in peace. We are not hiding anything.”
The Guardian noted “The intrusion appears reminiscent of an instance in 1990 when two Sunday Sport journalists dressed as medical staff in order to photograph the ‘Allo ‘Allo actor Gorden Kaye, who was hospitalised with brain damage after a car accident. The case made legal history in Kaye v Robertson.”
In that case, a Sunday Sport reporter and photographer posed as “medical staff” in order to get photos of Kaye post-brain surgery, according to a BBC report.
Hat Tip: Roy Greenslade