Michael Schumacher's wife called on reporters Tuesday to stay away from the French hospital where he is being treated for life-threatening injuries from a skiing accident, and to leave their family alone.
"Please support our shared fight with Michael. It is important to me that you take the pressure off the doctors and the hospital so they can do their work," Corinna Schumacher said in a statement addressed "to the media".
"Please have faith in their statements and leave the hospital. Please also leave our family in peace," the wife of the Formula One legend said. The former German champion remains in a medically induced coma since the accident on December 29 in the French ski resort of Meribel, where he owns a chalet.
Schumacher's fall has generated massive media interest, with his hospital in the French city of Grenoble under siege by reporters and photographers. A source close to Schumacher said Monday he had seen a "slight improvement", after doctors said he was still in a stable but critical condition.
Following a flurry of media speculation about Schumacher's condition, the team treating him said they would give no details of the care the 45-year-old is receiving in order to protect his right to privacy.
The German Federation of Journalists (DJV) echoed Corinna Schumacher's plea in its own statement, urging reporters to use restraint while covering the Schumacher story.
DJV chairman Michael Konken noted that the German journalists' code of conduct requires "respect for the suffering of victims and the feelings of loved ones".
"That also applies when the victim is famous," he said.
Konken called on media outlets to respect Corinna Schumacher's call to quit the hospital and respect the family's privacy, saying he was confident the doctors and Schumacher's management would provide timely updates on his condition. But he defended the volume of coverage devoted to the accident.
"Michael Schumacher is, due to his Formula One successes, extraordinarily famous. Many people fear for his life after his skiing accident. Media must report on that," he said.