Boris Becker: “I was busy with tennis”

London (AP) – It’s a stressful, turbulent life that Boris Becker led for a long time. How many accounts does the former tennis star own, where property was kept in his name and where the trophies he won are kept?

Becker has no idea, as he says several times. On Tuesday, the 54-year-old had another opportunity to comment in detail on the allegations before Southwark Crown Court in London. With a firm voice but visibly nervous and tense, Becker often responds “That’s right” to what his lawyer Jonathan Laidlaw said. “That’s not correct,” he responds to prosecutor Rebecca Chalkley.

Prosecutor Becker will certainly not believe he did not see his bankruptcy coming. As early as 2015, the former Wimbledon winner was aware he was bankrupt, Chalkley said, referring to a letter to the 54-year-old in which a bank demanded millions of euros back. Becker replies that he gets a lot of mail and has not read the letter.

There’s a lot at stake for Becker. Once a celebrated Wimbledon champion and tennis prodigy, affairs and financial scandals have scratched his image. It often seems as if he is much more respected in his adopted home in the UK, where he is popular as an expert on tennis broadcasts, than in Germany. Now he is being tried by all places in London, where he has lived for years.

In the indictment, Leimeneren is accused of not disclosing assets during his insolvency. Among them are several tennis trophies and prizes, but also real estate and accounts. The indictment consists of 24 counts. Theoretically, Becker could risk up to seven years in prison.

There is nothing left of the prize money

As early as Monday, he had stressed that financial issues were always left to his advisers and that he had not read any contracts. Becker earned a total of just over $ 25 million in prize money during his career from 1984 to 1999. There is nothing left. In 2017, a court in London declared him bankrupt. That’s still the case, Becker stressed.

In a dark blue suit and white shirt, the 54-year-old followed his lawyer’s instructions with great concentration. Again and again he took a tear from a water bottle, sometimes pulling at the collar. Archive folders lay on the floor next to him, in which he occasionally consulted documents. His partner Lilian De Carvalho Monteiro sat diagonally behind him. Private questions are also raised in the process – it is about, among other things, whether Becker has bought his daughter Anna Ermakowa an apartment.

On Tuesday, it was initially about his parents’ house in Leimen, where Becker was registered as the owner – without his knowledge, as he claims. Other properties were also mentioned, and here too the star athlete said he was not aware of the ownership structure. A similar picture accounts for accounts. That his parents opened an account in his name in 1989? “I’ve been busy traveling the world playing tennis,” Becker said. He does not know why he had three US bank accounts in Belgium. They were probably opened as part of an advertising partnership.

What about the trophies?

Insolvency Administrator Mark Ford would also like more awards from Becker. The tennis star withdraws the trophies from access. It rejects Becker. He just does not know where the trophies are. In general, it is not about the originals that he was handed over on the field after the final. Agents or supervisors usually received a much smaller copy version, Becker said.

Even he was already on his way to the next tournament. “The trophies themselves were not important to me,” he reported. For him, the title itself was more important. Now he regrets this view. If he finds the trophies again, he will hand them over immediately, he assured.

The public prosecutor wants to question Becker further this Wednesday. A jury then decides on the outcome. A decision is expected in the coming week.

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