Axel Springer SE and Julian Reichelt, the former boss of its flagship tabloid Bild-Zeitung, settled a lawsuit over leaked information that emerged almost two years after he was fired over allegations of sexual misconduct.
(Bloomberg) — Axel Springer SE and Julian Reichelt, the former boss of its flagship tabloid Bild-Zeitung, settled a lawsuit over leaked information that emerged almost two years after he was fired over allegations of sexual misconduct.
Axel Springer had field the suit earlier this year after it was told by the publisher of Berliner Zeitung that Reichelt had approached the newspaper to share information about his former employer.
The company considered this a violation of the 2021 agreement Reichelt had signed with Axel Springer when he had to go. The suit sought to recoup a severance payment of €2 million ($2.2 million) and additional penalties.
The publishing house has now retracted the case in the Berlin labor tribunal because the out-of-court agreement “satisfies the core concerns,” the company said in a statement on its website.
Reichelt had told the company he regrets having forwarded information to another media outlet, Axel Springer added. It wasn’t disclosed whether Reichelt now paid anything under the new settlement.
A lawyer for Reichelt didn’t immediately reply to an email seeking comment.
Axel Springer in 2021 fired Reichelt, saying he’d failed to “clearly separate personal and professional matters” and lied about his relationships with female colleagues. The ousting was preceded by a New York Times column that detailed Reichelt’s alleged misconduct, including promoting a junior employee with whom he was having a relationship. Chief Executive Officer Mathias Doepfner’s role was being questioned after allegations he failed to respond swiftly and adequately to the affair.
The publisher of competitor Berliner Zeitung, Holger Friedrich, told Axel Springer that Reichelt had approached the newspaper to share information. Because of this, the German Press Council, the self-regulation body for print media that monitors compliance with ethical rules in journalism, had censured Friedrich for exposing a confidential source.
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