For many years, Luke Mockridge was one of Germany’s most successful comedians. Between the ages of his mid-20s and early 30s, he had primetime shows on Sat 1 and his tours were sold out. Mockridge has been showered with awards; in addition to the Bambi, the German Television Prize and the Grimme Prize, he has won the Comedy Prize, the industry’s most important award, six times.

In July 2019, his ex-girlfriend, podcaster Ines Anioli, accused him of raping her during their relationship. The investigation initiated by the public prosecutor’s office was discontinued, confirmed by the public prosecutor’s office at the end of 2020. Nevertheless, a shitstorm developed against him on social media. The “Spiegel” later reported that Mockridge had also behaved aggressively towards other women. Sat 1 ended the collaboration and the comedian temporarily withdrew from the public.

Stern meets Luke Mockridge in the conference room of a Hamburg hotel in mid-March; the comedian traveled from Cologne for this. Months passed before this conversation took place. First Mockridge’s lawyers advised him against it, then his doctors. The star also had concerns. Is it right to give a platform to someone against whom such serious allegations have been made?

But the high-profile case is a kind of lesson: How does society deal with a person who is seen by some as a rapist and by others as the victim of a smear campaign? And who is now back on Germany’s stages, innocent or not?

The star has decided to hear and publish its version of the story. Of course, we also trace Ines Anioli’s perspective.

Mr. Mockridge, when you feel that you are being recognized on the street, is that different today than it was four years ago? Yes, I always briefly have a kind of stop sign in my head. I ask myself: what happens now? 99 percent of the time the person I’m talking to wants a photo, but sometimes they spit.

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