A woman who became pregnant after an anonymous sexual encounter in a hotel has been told she isn’t allowed to know the identity of the man she slept with.
The mother – whose name has not been revealed – enjoyed a four-night fling in the hotel with a fellow guest known to her only as ‘Michael’.
After the tryst in the eastern German city of Halle in June 2010, she gave birth to a son. Believing that mysterious ‘Michael’ was the father, she tried to find him to secure maintenance payments.
As she didn’t know his full name – or indeed whether his first name really was ‘Michael’ – she asked the hotel where the encounter took place for the full name of anyone called ‘Michael’ who was staying there at the same time as her.
The hotel management refused, citing client confidentiality, but it later came to light that four men called ‘Michael’ had been staying in the hotel at that time.
The woman sued the company which owns the hotel in a bid to force it to tell her ‘Michael’s’ name but it’s now been confirmed that she has lost her battle after a Munich district court dismissed her claim. The case has cemented Germany’s reputation for having some of the toughest privacy laws in the world. These laws stretch back to the Nazi era.
A judge said divulging the full names of the four Michaels in question would have exposed them all to suspicion, potentially harming their existing relationships.
In a ruling last week, the court’s judgment said: “The court finds that the right of the affected men to self-determination regarding their personal information and to protect their marriages and families outweighs the claim to maintenance payments. The affected men also have the right to have their private and intimate spheres respected, which protects them from having to expose sexual relationships.”