A legal dispute over passages in the book by ex-"Bild" editor-in-chief Kai Diekmann on the family of former Chancellor Helmut Kohl ended with partial success for both sides.
The Hamburg Regional Court banned three out of five criticized statements in an urgent procedure for injunctive relief, the other part was rejected, as a court spokesman for the German Press Agency confirmed. The books that have already been printed can be resold at the same time and do not have to be changed.
Decision legally contestable
According to the court, the criticized passages roughly revolve around financial details in disputes between the former chancellor and his sons. The application to the court was filed by the sons Walter and Peter Kohl and was directed against Penguin Random House Verlagsgruppe GmbH, which belongs to Bertelsmann and publishes the book. According to the spokesman, the court decision can still be legally challenged.
The book "I was picture" was published in May. Diekmann headed Germany's largest tabloid from 2001 to early 2017. In the memoirs, the 58-year-old describes experiences from his time as editor-in-chief. In the fourth chapter he writes about his relationship and his experiences with former Chancellor Helmut Kohl (1930-2017), whom he describes as a "fatherly friend".
The 58-year-old also goes into the relationship between Kohl, his two sons (59 and 58) and Kohl's second wife Maike Kohl-Richter (59). Diekmann lists alleged details of inheritance disputes and describes a rift between sons and father that became deeper and deeper in the years before his death on June 16, 2017.
Publisher is examining appeals
After the publication, Walter Kohl informed the dpa that he was having legal action taken against the book and that many of Diekmann's descriptions were wrong.
The publisher said of the court decision: "The author and publisher are currently examining whether to lodge an appeal, but are already very pleased that the copies of Kai Diekmann's bestseller that are currently on the market can continue to be sold undisturbed." The "Spiegel" quoted Walter Kohl as saying that the court decision was a "crushing defeat" for the other side.