Secrecy around Schumacher’s ‘wishes’ is explained
She has been accused of cruelly hiding away Formula One legend Michael Schumacher from the world and disguising the truth about his condition.
But devoted wife Corinna Schumacher claims she is simply paying back her husband for 24 happy years of marriage by fulfilling his wish for privacy.
The German seven-times world champion has not been seen since he suffered a traumatic brain injury after falling while skiing in the French alps in 2013, and his condition has been shrouded in secrecy.
This week his former manager for 20 years, Willi Weber, said: "I'd like to know how he's doing and shake hands or stroke his face.
"But unfortunately, this is rejected by Corinna. She's probably afraid that I'll see right away what's going on and make the truth public."
Corinna, 50, has barely spoken to the media, yet just days before Weber's claims, she gave a rare interview to She's Mercedes magazine.
In it, she revealed it is her notoriously private husband who has dictated the news blackout.
"He is in the best of hands right now and we are doing everything we can to help him. Try to understand that we follow Michael's desire to keep his health a secret," she said.
The racing ace is cared for by a team of ten experts at a specially converted medical facility at his £50 million mansion on the shore of Lake Geneva, Switzerland.
Such is the Schumacher obsession with privacy that around the time of his 50th birthday in January, Corinna and the couple's children Gina-Marie, 22, and Mick, 20, issued a rare official update - but even that gave no indication of Michael's condition.
It read: "You can be sure that he is in the very best of hands and that we are doing everything humanly possible to help him.
"Please understand if we are following Michael's wishes and keeping such a sensitive subject as health, as it has always been, in privacy."
That insistence on privacy also led the family to take a German magazine to court in 2016 for claiming he could walk.
In court, their lawyer Felix Damm revealed that Michael could neither walk nor stand unaided.
Michael's former boss at Ferrari, Jean Todt, is one of the few friends allowed to visit him. Last year, he told a French magazine: "When you put him in his wheelchair facing the beautiful panorama of the mountains overlooking the lake, Michael sometimes cries."
In September, Todt revealed he had watched an F1 race with Michael and that he "keeps on fighting".
"I'm always careful with such statements, but it's true. I saw the race together with Michael at his home in Switzerland," said Todt.
"He is in the best hands and is well looked after in his house."
But he did imply Michael still has difficulty talking.
"His family is fighting just as much, and of course our friendship cannot be the same as it once was, just because there's no longer the same communication as before," said Todt.
So far Michael's care is estimated to have cost more than £20 million - although money is not a concern for a man who was once the world's second highest paid athlete.
Pending his recovery, Corinna has taken over running the half-a-billion-pound Schumacher empire - still growing thanks to sponsors including Mercedes, which never deserted him.