The editor-in-chief of the largest German newspaper picture has been removed from office with immediate effect. The reason is that 41-year-old Julian Reichelt has had love affairs with employees, where there are indications of abuse of power, media group Axel Springer has disclosed.
The publisher of the daily newspaper with eight million daily readers emphasizes that there have been no allegations of sexual harassment or assault. Reichelt did not clearly separate personal and professional matters from each other and the management told untruths during investigations, according to a statement.
Reichelt had previously been given a second chance after allegations failed to prove, but then the company received “new indications of wrongdoing.” His departure as editor-in-chief is therefore ‘inevitable’
Dinners with interns
Riechelt has long been accused of having relationships with female subordinates. He is also said to have invited interns to dinner parties. He had already been sent on leave once, but he denied that he had abused his power and was able to return to work after a short time.
In March 2021, the publisher announced that Reichelt would have to undergo an internal investigation. There was talk of the ‘Reichelt system’, which involved abuse of power and exploitation of dependency relationships against young female workers. Allegations of abuse of power related to consensual relationships and drug use in the workplace were investigated. Reichelt was not fired after that.
The investigation team had expressed their dissatisfaction with the decision in a letter to the publisher and the management. The protest letter is now circulating online.
The New York Times published a lengthy report this weekend, including on the charges against Reichelt, which first became public in the spring. For example, an employee is said to have said that Reichelt told her: “If they find out I’m having an affair with an intern, I will lose my job.” Just before the editor uttered those words, another woman had reported sexual harassment to the newspaper. But Mr. Reichelt’s relationship with the junior employee persisted, she testified. Reichelt and Springer publishing house, the group behind picture, would have prevented publications about him.
The 37-year-old Johannes Boie, currently editor-in-chief of the newspaper Welt am Sonntag, will become the new chairman of the three-person editor-in-chief of picture.
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