Julian Reichelt speaks

Seven weeks after his release as Image-Editor-in-chief Julian Reichelt spoke for the first time. In conversation with the Time the 41-year-old, who headed the tabloid for four and a half years, expresses his disappointment with Mathias Döpfner, the head of the Axel Springer Group.

He did not see his expulsion coming. “I was on vacation, I was on the car train to Sylt when the call came from Mathias on my cell phone. After twenty years of loyal work, ten of them in war zones, I was disposed of on the phone in twenty minutes.”

In the interview, he rejects the accusation of abuse of power and admits a relationship with a former employee. However, he has nothing to hide and has not lied to Döpfner and the company. “That’s why I was very surprised at how surprised he said he was. The bottom line was that I was kicked out because of my relationship,” says Reichelt.

The reason for the dismissal were several media reports in October. the New York Times had published a text about Reichelt’s questionable administration, and an investigative team at the Ippen media group had researched a text for months, but the publishing boss Dirk Ippen prevented it at the last minute. Some of the results were then incorporated into a Spiegel report.

In the spring of this year, the Springer Group initiated internal proceedings against Reichelt following complaints. According to the publisher, the core of the investigation was the allegations of abuse of power in connection with consensual relationships with female employees and drug use in the workplace. The group came to the conclusion that Reichelt should get a second chance. After the publications in October, however, the Reichelt group dropped. The press release said at the time: “As a result of press research, the company had gained new insights into the current behavior of Julian Reichelt in the last few days. The company followed up on this information. The Board of Management learned that Julian Reichelt would continue to work after the Compliance procedure in the spring of 2021 did not clearly separate private and professional matters and told the board the untruth about it. “

When asked about his professional future, Reichelt says he definitely wants to stay in journalism. “If there isn’t a suitable one, in a free country you have the opportunity to create this job yourself. I love giving millions of people a strong voice.” When asked how he did without image The former editor-in-chief says the following sentence: “That is wrong. Not Julian Reichelt is a picture, but: the picture was Julian Reichelt. What this brand represented was based on my work, I think Thoughts.”

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