Ex-contestant of Klum’s model show acquitted of drunk driving

The troubled former contestant of Heidi Klum's show Germany's Next Top Model was acquitted of drunk driving by a court in Nuremberg on Tuesday.

Ex-contestant of Klum's model show acquitted of drunk driving
Gina-Lisa Lohfink, left, admits she had a few. Photo: DPA

Gina-Lisa Lohfink, 21, who was a contestant on Heidi Klum’s show in 2007, left the court room without being sanctioned due to a lack of evidence, German daily Bild reported.

“My grandfather is dying. Those who know me from TV know what a straight-shooter I am,” Lohfink tearfully told the courtroom in what Bild called “a scene reminiscent of a film drama.”

The prosecution had pushed for fines totalling €25,000 and a one-year driving ban. Lohfink was caught in October, 2007 in the passenger seat of a rental car with a blood alcohol content of 0.168 without a driver’s license.

Bild reported that the would-be Topmodel admitted she had been drunk during the incident. “We’d been in a disco,” she said. “I’d had a lot to drink.”

The court was unable to determine who had been in the driver’s seat. Lohfink’s 17-year-old friend, who was also in the car at the time, initially said Lohfink had been driving but quickly switched to the passenger seat before authorities reached the car. But during the trial, the friend told a different story. Lohfink told the court she had been sitting in the passenger seat and had dozed off right away because she was intoxicated, the paper said.

According to news agency AP, despite her active media presence, there was also confusion about Lohfink’s financial situation and whether she could afford to pay the proposed fines.

“I’m not guilty. I have a clean conscience,” Lohfink told the court.


Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

The German government says it is in talks over further compensation for victims of the attack on the Munich Olympics, as the 50th anniversary of the atrocity approaches.

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

Ahead of the commemoration in September, relatives of the Israelis killed have indicated they are unhappy with what Germany is offering.

“Conversations based on trust are taking place with representatives of the victims’ families,” a German interior ministry spokesman told AFP when asked about the negotiations.

He did not specify who would benefit or how much money had been earmarked, saying only that any package would “again” be financed by the federal government, the state of Bavaria and the city of Munich.

On September 5th, 1972, eight gunmen broke into the Israeli team’s flat at the Olympic village, shooting dead two and taking nine Israelis hostage, threatening to kill them unless 232 Palestinian prisoners were released.

West German police responded with a bungled rescue operation in which all nine hostages were killed, along with five of the eight hostage-takers and a police officer.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists  held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Horst Ossingert

The spokeswoman for the victims’ families, Ankie Spitzer, told the German media group RND that the amount currently on the table was “insulting” and threatened a boycott of this year’s commemorations.

She said Berlin was offering a total of €10 million including around €4.5 million already provided in compensation between 1972 and 2002 — an amount she said did not correspond to international standards. 

“We are angry and disappointed,” said Spitzer, the widow of fencing coach Andre Spitzer who was killed in the attack. “We never wanted to talk publicly about money but now we are forced to.”

RND reported that the German and Israeli governments would like to see an accord by August 15th.

The interior ministry spokesman said that beyond compensation, Germany intended to use the anniversary for fresh “historical appraisal, remembrance and recognition”.

He said this would include the formation of a commission of German and Israeli historians to “comprehensively” establish what happened “from the perspective of the year 2022”.

This would lead to “an offer of further acts of acknowledgement of the relatives of the victims of the attack” and the “grave consequences” they suffered.