Stalker fined for sending genital pic to high jumper

A German man who sent a photo of his genitals to German high jumper Ariane Friedrich was fined on Thursday. She was flung into the media spotlight when refusing to be intimidated, she posted his name and address online.

Stalker fined for sending genital pic to high jumper
Photo: DPA

Just a week before the London Olympics, the 28-year-old German champion’s attention has been pulled back to the stalker who in April sent her a photos of his genitals in an email.

The 38-year-old man admitted to the Marburg regional court he had harassed Friedrich over the internet and sent her the sexually explicit photo. State prosecutor Annemarie Wied said this was proof enough that he had done it. He has been fined €1,050.

Friedrich was feted around the world after she turned to her Facebook site to name and shame him, publishing his details online.

“It’s time to act, it’s time to defend myself. And that’s what I’m doing. No more and no less,” wrote the Frankfurt-based athlete, who by profession is a policewoman.

Publishing the man’s name, email and home address was a big step, admitted Friedrich. Still, she said, it was not the first time she had received a “brazen” email like that from a fan.

Her reaction provoked reaction worldwide, with feminists praising her courage to speak up about sexual harassment and refuse to be intimated by it.

Others criticised her for invading his privacy by posting his private information online without consent.

And some criticised those who supported her, comparing them to Facebook bullies who had called for the lynching of a falsely accused suspect in the case of a murdered young girl.

Since the incident, Friedrich has withdrawn from the public eye. She rarely gives interviews and allegedly regularly changes where she trains regularly, so as not to attract attention.

“I’ve mutated into an analytical person, but I have to turn my brain off,” she said. She has been continuing her training while the court case went on, and has been fighting a couple of injuries which have disrupted her performance.

Her fellow athletes have stood by her the whole time and the president of the German Olympic Sports Association Thomas Bach said that “despite any injuries will be able to come out on top in London.”

DPA/The Local/jcw

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Bild editor steps down over allegations of affairs with employees

The editor-in-chief of German newspaper Bild is stepping down temporarily while he is investigated over several complaints made by women, publisher Axel Springer group said on Saturday.

Bild editor steps down over allegations of affairs with employees
Bild editor Julian Reichelt at the Bild newspaper's 'Sommerfest' party in 2018. Photo: picture alliance / Jörg Carstensen/dpa | Jörg Carstensen

Julian Reichelt had “asked the board of directors to be temporarily relieved of his duties until the allegations have been clarified”, the group said in a statement. The complaints prompted the company to launch an internal investigation led by lawyers.

Reichelt is suspected of having promoted interns with whom he had affairs and then sidelining or firing them, the Spiegel newspaper reported. Members of staff came forward months ago but Spiegel said management had been slow to look into the allegations.

However, the publisher defended itself in its statement: “As a matter of  principle Axel Springer always has to distinguish between rumors, indications and clear evidence.”

It said the firm would take action when there was clear evidence, adding: “Currently, there is no such clear evidence. Prejudgments based on rumors are unacceptable for the Axel Springer corporate culture.”

Reichelt denies the claims, the group said, adding that the investigation was ongoing.