From prodigy at tennis to criminal: A badly damaged legend

His monument as a tennis legend had already received many scratches from his private scandals – but now it is badly damaged. Boris Becker is going to jail for delaying bankruptcy. London judge Deborah Taylor on Friday sentenced him to two and a half years in prison – an embarrassment for a man whose face is known around the world.

The 54-year-old accepted the verdict without any external feelings. He grabbed his bag – and was then led out of the courtroom towards the prison. Although the verdict is not yet final, Becker’s legal team can appeal it. But it does not result in a stay in custody under British law.

It could have been even worse for Becker. A sentence of seven years in prison would have been possible. Judge Deborah Taylor stayed well below. In addition, according to her verdict, Becker will only serve half of the two and a half years.

Boris Becker’s success story began in 1985: He won Wimbledon at the age of 17

Nevertheless, Becker will have more than enough time in prison to think about his life. The great success story began in the summer of 1985, the summer of Boris Becker. As a mere 17-year-old, he won the Wimbledon Lawn Tournament, his homeland at his feet. Tennis experienced a boom in Germany that is unique to this day, and Becker was overwhelmed with sponsorship contracts.

Becker, born November 22, 1967, has won a total of $ 25 million in prize money in his career. In addition, there were millions in revenue from countless advertising contracts. In London, however, he stood trial following a bankruptcy: Because he had made false statements in his bankruptcy proceedings initiated in the UK, the jury at Southwark Crown Court recently found him guilty of four out of 24 charges.

Bizarre statements in court: battle over alleged diplomatic status

In 2002, he narrowly escaped imprisonment in a tax evasion trial in Munich. He was then sentenced to two years probation and a fine of 500,000 euros. The court in Munich tried to make it clear to Becker that he had only just been released from prison – but the message apparently did not get through.

For in the process now completed, Becker had to admit that to this day he has neither paid his own bills nor read contracts himself. He does not even claim to have known anything about the number of his accounts. Whether it was an admission of astonishing ignorance or an attempt to shift the responsibility onto his advisers, that argument did not hold up in court.

Becker had already acted unhappily in the insolvency proceedings that had been initiated since 2017 – to put it mildly. The highlight was the failed attempt to enjoy immunity as an alleged diplomat from the Central African Republic.

Scandals and affairs – Becker’s privacy, especially in Germany

The controversy over the alleged diplomatic status turned into a farce, thus ending in repeated instances of Becker’s private failure. His marriage to Barbara broke down, and so did Lilly. An affair with Angela Ermakova and her illegitimate daughter Anna also made headlines.

Read here: Anna Ermakowa in shock: “Of course I have to visit my father in prison”

In Germany, the scandals were particularly widespread, causing Becker’s relationship with his countrymen to cool down. A few years ago, Becker said he would not return to Germany, his home was London.

Gottschalk on Becker: “Let’s face it, you’re become a real German sanctuary”

The six-time Grand Slam champion also ended up in court there. He was “shocked” when he was declared bankrupt in June 2017, Becker said in the trial, which began in March. “I was ashamed because I was broke.” However, he also felt that his “Becker brand” was damaged by reporting the bankruptcy.

The question now is whether Becker himself did not harm his brand – or whether mitigating circumstances apply to him to this day because he achieved superhero status at such a young age. An example of this is an interview with Thomas Gottschalk from the beginning of his career. “Let’s not fool ourselves, you’re become a real German sanctuary,” the moderator told the shy tennis player at the time.

After all, his sporting successes will remain with Becker – even if he should have many of his trophies auctioned off.

by Ralf Isermann, AFP

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