Legal Troubles

As Creditors Close in, Former Top Manager Middelhoff Surprises Jurists By Jumping Out Courthouse Window

Thomas Middelhoff
Thomas Middlehoff. the former CEO of German media group Bertelsmann, rejected assertions by a former business partner that he was bankrupt last Friday during a court appearance in Essen, Germany.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Once one of the leading lights of German business, Thomas Middelhoff is now mostly making headlines for his many court appearances. He is currently embroiled in a legal dispute with his former business partner Roland Berger.

  • Facts


    • Thomas Middelhoff was in court on Friday to make an oath of disclosure about his business assets.
    • The proceedings were a result of a legal dispute with Roland Berger, who claims Mr. Middelhoff owes him €6.8 million.
    • Mr. Middelhoff insisted this weekend that he is not broke, but that his bank his blocking his access to funds.
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In the end, an attempt to flee the press made headlines.

Thomas Middelhoff, former chief executive at Bertlesmann and Arcandor, dramatically jumped out of a window to escape reporters.

Mr. Middelhoff, who is being sued by various former associates for millions of euros, was in a court in Essen on Friday for a so-called “oath of disclosure” in which he had to outline his financial assets. The hearing was the result of legal proceedings brought against Mr. Middelhoff by his former partner, the management consultant Roland Berger.

Mr. Middelhoff said that after his court appearance he jumped out of the window and grabbed a drainpipe before jumping 3 meters down onto the roof of a garage. He then jumped another 3 meters to the street. “Then I went through the back yard and, cheerfully whistling, walked to a side street where I hailed a cab,” he told the DPA news agency.


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