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Bettina Wulff

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Bettina Wulff
Bettina Wulff in 2010
Spouse of the President of Germany
In role
30 June 2010 – 17 February 2012
PresidentChristian Wulff
Preceded byEva Köhler
Succeeded byDaniela Schadt
Personal details
Bettina Körner

(1973-10-25) 25 October 1973 (age 50)
Hanover, West Germany
(m. 2008; div. 2020)
(m. 2023)
Alma materUniversity of Music, Drama and Media Hanover

Bettina Wulff (née Körner; 25 October 1973) is the wife of the former German President Christian Wulff and was therefore sometimes referred to by the media as the "First Lady" during her husband's presidency.

Early life and family[edit]

Bettina Körner was born 25 October 1973 in Hanover, Lower Saxony, the second child of Inge and Horst Körner. She spent her childhood in the town of Großburgwedel and was raised as a Protestant.[1]

Körner married Christian Wulff on 3 March 2008. Their son, Linus Florian was born two months later. Christian and Bettina Wulff each have a child from previous relationships. He had been married to his wife Christiane for 18 years before announcing their divorce in June 2006. He and his former wife have a daughter, Annalena. Bettina Wulff also has a son, Leander Balthasar (born 2003), from an earlier relationship.[2]

Education and career[edit]

After completing Abitur at the Leibnizschule in Hanover in 1993, Wulff studied media management and applied media sciences at the University of Music, Drama and Media Hanover[1] and was enrolled there until 2000.[3] Between 1998 and 2000, she worked as a public relations assistant for an internet agency. After that she was employed as a press officer for a car manufacturing supplier and later for a pharmacy chain.[1] In February 2012, after her husband's resignation from the Office of German President and in the wake of a scandal about alleged corruption, she founded the public relations agency Bettina Wulff Kommunikation.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Wulff was 36 years old when her husband was elected President; she became a media star for "her looks and her glamour, her height and her elegance"; the tabloid press was fascinated by the fact that she had a tattoo, "as if it were a badge of hipness".[5]


Wulff is a patron of the "Eine Chance für Kinder" (A Chance for Children) Foundation, which aims to support expectant mothers, young mothers, babies and toddlers facing difficult social situations.[6] She is also a patron of the "Deutsche Kinder- und Jugendstiftung" (German Children and Youth Foundation) and "Müttergenesungswerk" (Maternal Health Care Foundation).


In 2012, she undertook legal action against Google, TV host Günther Jauch, and 34 other German and foreign bloggers and media, which led to cease and desist orders. The centrepiece of the associated lawsuit is Google's autocomplete feature, because the search engine would suggest terms such as "escort" and "prostitute" when searching for Wulff's name.[7][8] The autocomplete results were generated as a result of unsubstantiated rumors about Wulff spread by gossip sites and blogs.[8] Wulff had concerns that the autocomplete suggestions would be interpreted by users as a statement of fact.[8] According to a survey by a polling group for the tabloid Bild am Sonntag, 81% of Germans had never heard the rumours before she started her campaign.[5]


Published in September 2012, Wulff wrote an autobiography (co-authored by Nicole Maibaum) titled Jenseits des Protokolls (Off Protocol) in which, inter alia, she refutes the rumours of having worked as an escort or prostitute.[9][10] She also discussed marital problems and disclosed they were seeing a marriage counselor. In January 2013, the couple announced their separation with him moving out of their countryside house and into a rented flat in Hanover.[11] They started divorce proceedings in March 2015, but only two months later they got together again and stopped the proceedings.[12]



  1. ^ a b c "Bettina Wulff, wife of the Federal President". Bundespräsidialamt. 2012. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  2. ^ Albers, Sophie (2 July 2010). "First Lady Bettina Wulff: Die große Blonde in den neuen Schuhen". Stern. Retrieved 2 July 2010.
  3. ^ "Bettina Wulff". Munzinger-Archiv (in German). 19 May 2020. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 25 November 2022.
  4. ^ "Bettina Wulff gründet PR-Agentur", Focus, no. 37, 2012, archived from the original on 11 February 2013, retrieved 10 September 2012 (German)
  5. ^ a b Kulish, Nicholas (18 September 2012). "As Google Fills in Blank, a German Cries Foul". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
  6. ^ "Patronage". Duetscher Opernball. 2011. Retrieved 10 October 2011.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Germany's Former First Lady Sues Google For Defamation Over Autocomplete Suggestions". TechCrunch. 2012. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
  8. ^ a b c Pasquale, Frank (2015). The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms That Control Money And Information. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. p. 72. ISBN 978-0674736061. OCLC 897599091.
  9. ^ (dpa/dapd) (10 September 2012), ""Jenseits des Protokolls": Das Bettina-Wulff-Buch ist auf dem Markt", Hamburger Abendblatt, retrieved 10 September 2012 (German)
  10. ^ (jok) (10 September 2012), "Excerpts from Wulff's Book in Bild. "Ich habe nie als Escort-Lady gearbeitet"", Der Spiegel, retrieved 10 September 2012 (German)
  11. ^ "Christian Wulff, Bettina Split: German Ex-President Separates From Wife". HuffPost. 7 January 2013. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
  12. ^ "Ehemaliger Bundespräsident: Christian und Bettina Wulff leben wieder zusammen". Der Spiegel (in German). 6 May 2015. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
Unofficial roles
Preceded by Spouse of the President of Germany
Succeeded by