Status: 01.10.2023, 07:06 a.m.
By: Lisa Klugmayer
After the niece of actor Maximilian Schell made allegations of abuse against him public, his daughter and his widow are now speaking out. (Photomontage) © dpa/Ursula Düren & dpa/Peter Endig
After the niece of actor Maximilian Schell made allegations of abuse against him public, his daughter and his widow are now speaking out.
Munich – Maximilian Schell (†84) was one of the best-known and most successful German-speaking actors. He has won numerous awards for his work, including an Oscar for Best Actor for his role in "The Judgment of Nuremberg". But now several women from his immediate environment are making serious accusations against Schell. His niece started it, but now his daughter and widow are breaking their silence as well.
After niece: Now Maximilian Schell's daughter also accuses him of sexual abuse
"As a fourteen-year-old, I was sexually abused, seduced, deflowered by my uncle – without violence, but against my will," writes Marie Theres Relin (57) in her book "Scenes of No Marriage". Relin is the niece of Maximilian Schell and an actress herself. Although she does not mention his name, she leaves no doubt that she is talking about Schell. Now his daughter Nastassja (34) is commenting on the allegations and reveals BILD.de: "I was also sexually abused by my father!".
After niece: Now Maximilian Schell's daughter also accuses him of © sexual abuse IMAGO/SKATA
After her parents separated, she always slept with her father. "We only had a single bed in the guest room, my mother slept in the large double bed in the bedroom," she recalls. A few years later, Maximilian Schell told the then nine-year-old "that it used to be customary for fathers to deflower their daughters."
"Children at the age I was at the time, they can't judge what's right or wrong. As a little daughter, I was instructed on how to behave in bed with my father," Nastassja Schell continues. "Caresses and being touched in the intimate area is sexual abuse. And that's what he did. Just because it didn't happen to penetrate doesn't mean it's any less abuse."
Who was Maximilian Schell?
Maximilian Schell was an actor, director and producer. Born in Vienna, he started his acting career at the theater. In 1952 he appeared at the Theater Basel, then moved to the Münchner Kammerspiele. In 1955 he made his first "film Children, Mothers and a General". Two years later, he appeared in front of the camera for the first time alongside Marlon Brando in Hollywood. He became an international film star with his role as a Nazi lawyer in "The Judgment of Nuremberg". Because in 1962 he received an Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role. He received further Oscar nominations for Best Actor and Supporting Actor, as well as for Best Foreign and Best Documentary.
On February 1, 2014, Maximilian Schell was operated on for back pain at the Innsbruck State Hospital and died there as a result. He didn't wake up from the anesthesia.
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"Have silenced me": Maximilian Schell's family is said to have known about the abuse allegations
And he should have been convicted of this abuse at the time, according to Nastassja: "For me, he would have heard in court and had to pay for his sentence." As early as 2007, the then 18-year-old spoke to her family about it, but no one wanted to know anything about the allegations. "Everyone around us knew about it. It's just that everyone silenced me," she reveals.
"They silenced me": Maximilian Schell's family is said to have © known about the abuse allegations IMAGO/Guido Krzikowski
But what does she have to say about Marie Theres Relin's descriptions? Nastassja was not surprised: "I knew about it. And I believe her that it happened. I have no doubts about that." The whole family would have known about Maximilian Schell's sexual preferences, she continues: "In the inner circle of the family, everyone knew that my father was into younger women. I don't mean 18-year-olds, but very young people. You have to think about what kind of guy he is who likes such young girls." He also had a relationship with one of her nannies. She was 14 when she started at the Schell household.
Nevertheless, Schell is not a monster for his daughter. "He will always be closest to me from my family. Because he was the only one who was kind to me, while the rest of the family was terrible to me. My father was an angel and a devil to me!"
"My father was an angel and a devil for me": Despite the accusations, Maximilian Schell is not a monster for daughter Nastassja. © dpa/Helmut Fohringer
"Shocked and shaken": This is what Maximilian Schell's widow says about the accusations
Serious accusations that his niece and daughter make against Maximilian Schell. But what does his widow say about this? Iva Mihanovic (45) and Schell met in 2008 and married in August 2013. The opera singer claims to have known nothing about all this, as she tells BILD.de: "Marie Theres Relin never spoke to me about it".
"Shocked and shaken": This is what Maximilian Schell's widow says about the allegations © dpa/Ursula Düren
"I only knew Maximilian for the last seven years of his life and loved him. During this time, I did not hear, experience, observe any such things or that they had been reported to me," Iva Schell continues. She was now "shocked and shaken", but took the two women very seriously, "since such allegations must always be taken seriously". The 45-year-old is now thinking about many things and questioning some things. "I try to keep objectivity and find a way for myself to deal with the accusations," the opera singer concludes. Sources used: bild.de