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Holidaymaker sues after TV 'monster' joke

The Local · 13 Sep 2012, 11:36

Published: 13 Sep 2012 11:36 GMT+02:00

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Former pop star and now presenter Dieter Bohlen mercilessly teased the 69-year-old man when the footage was aired not long after his ill-fated holiday.

The Austrian man named only as Herbert P. was on holiday on the Maldives in November 2010 when RTL was filming its Deutschland sucht den Superstar (DSDS) "Recall" show there, the Express newspaper reported on Thursday.

The pensioner reportedly wandered into a restricted area of a swimming pool behind the judges' panel, and RTL aired the footage with a “humorous voiceover” and a horror film soundtrack.

"And now - gruesome, dangerous, ravenous - the monster from the deep," the voice said as Herbert P. was seen climbing out of the water.

Bohlen then added, "He looks like a beer bottle." Herbert P.'s identity was only masked by a black spot superimposed over his eyes.

Herbert P. said his life became traumatic after the incident, because people began ridiculing him. "Even my partner's boss talked to us about it," he told the Austrian Kurier newspaper. "And my cousin, who I have not heard from for a long time, called from Germany. Everyone was making fun of me."

He has since sought psychiatric help. "When I came back from holiday I was the happiest person," he said. "Then I couldn't sleep, I was awake every night, just because of this stupidity."

After Herbert P. complained, RTL paid him €9,000 compensation, a sum it described as "very generous" to the Kurier.

But the Austrian is now suing the broadcaster for a further €21,000. A court psychiatrist has already testified that the TV show caused psychiatric harm to Herbert.

Story continues below…

RTL would not comment on the court case on the grounds that it was still ongoing.

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:22 September 13, 2012 by Onlythetruth
Hell, being insulted by Dieter Bohlen is an honor. RTL should be suing Herbert P. for exposing the utter fatuousness of their show.
14:06 September 13, 2012 by iseedaftpeople
>But the Austrian is now suing the broadcaster for a further €21,000. A court psychiatrist has already testified that the TV show caused psychiatric harm to Herbert.

that seems ony fair. Being ridiculed like that on national TV just because you weren't aware that somebody was filming you... and RTL is lucky that this isn't the U.S., where you can be slapped with a million dollar lawsuit for slander.
14:35 September 13, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
I often wonder how the media get away with so much in Germany. These programs where they follow people on the street is blatant invasion of privacy. For a country so paranoid about privacy (Google Street View case) I am amazed the German media can get away with so much. Fines are pathetic in Germany and are no deterrent for big organisations breaking the law. RTL should be tanking their luck stars if they get away with the further 21,000EUR. Bohlen is an untalented idiot anyway.
14:54 September 13, 2012 by catjones
iseedaftpeople...thanks for bring in the unrelated USA. If you want to compare something, how about your inferiority complex?
19:13 September 13, 2012 by iseedaftpeople

I was just stating fact; typically for this kind of thing, TV networks in the U.S. don't get away with the equivalent of 30,000 euros... my point was that that kind of money is pretty much a slap on the wrist for RTL...

No need to go primate feces on me just because I brought up your precious U.S. of A., especially not when all I wanted to point out was that in other countries slander carries much heftier compensation, and for the most part rightly so.

Seems more like I stumbled upon some kind of inferiority complex on YOUR part.
22:23 September 13, 2012 by puisoh
OMG!! Only 21,000euros for being ridiculed by the Super idiot of Deutschland - Dieter Bohlen! That is true insult now.
10:58 September 14, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Dieter Bohlen to me represents everything that is tacky in Germany. That includes his sense of humour. Cannot understand the popularity of this plastic moron.
07:57 September 21, 2012 by ChrisNHH
What amazes me is that Dieter Bohlen feels he can make fun of other people, when there is nothing worse than Dieter Bohlen himself. In case I accidentally come across him on TV, the sick bags are usually ready.
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