Boris Becker: cinema on the downward spiral: “It started with the divorce from Barbara”

Germany’s former tennis star Boris Becker was sentenced to two and a half years in prison. Cinematographer Christian Schommers now dares to try to trace which point in Becker’s life sealed his ancestry.

April 29 was without a doubt the blackest day in the life of Boris Becker (54). A court in London has sentenced the fallen national hero to two and a half years in prison for several bankruptcy crimes. He must serve half of that before he can be allowed to spend the rest on parole, Southwark Crown Court Judge Deborah Taylor ruled. Becker was immediately remanded in custody.

Journalist and author Christian Schommers wrote Becker’s sensational biography “Life is no game” in 2013 and followed him for a long time. In an interview with, he tries to trace which point in the life of the former Wimbledon hero sealed his lineage.

In the video above, we show you what the cells in Becker’s prison look like from the inside. Hr. Schommers, few people outside Boris Becker’s family have had such an intimate insight into his privacy as you. Can you point out a point in the tragedy that brought the tennis legend to where she is today?

Christian Schommers: The downward spiral began with the divorce from Barbara, which cost him 15 million euros. Then followed several entertainment payments to Noah and Elijah. An economically significant blow. It was immediately after Becker’s active career, and there was not as much money as was generally claimed. They always say 50 million, but I think it was a little over half.

Becker cinema: “The finca in Mallorca was a tomb of millions of dollars”

Still a lot of money.

You have to remember that Becker had big expenses during his playing days. Coaches, physiotherapists, leaders. Lots of rides with a huge following. Let’s say he had 30 million at the end of his career. He had to give 15 of these to Barbara and at the same time the income from his active career was lost. Nevertheless, he continued to live on the same level, he went on expensive trips, took luxurious vacations, could afford expensive food. After his career, Boris Becker continued to live as if he was still the one earning millions in the tennis circus. But that was no longer the case.

Even then, Becker was already in court for money crimes.

Yes, in 2002 he had to pay a large fine for tax evasion and was given a suspended sentence. At the same time, the business stopped working. The Mercedes car dealerships did not sell well enough, and the newly started Sportgate, in which he was involved, did not do well either. Becker invested funds but made no profit. On top of that, the finca in Mallorca was a tomb of a million dollars. He had to tear down buildings there several times and after divorcing Barbara there was no one there, she was not even rented out.

Becker was “suddenly the marriage cheater”

The broomstick affair with Angela Ermakova after Becker’s last Wimbledon match as a professional player made headlines worldwide. Did it also affect his financial situation?

The conception of the illegitimate child with Angela Ermakova gave Boris Becker the rest. He also had to pay maintenance for his daughter Anna until she was 18. He also bought an expensive apartment for her in London. His image was also irreversibly damaged afterwards. Before then, Becker was the pure man with the family. Suddenly the marriage cheater. From then on, he was no longer so interesting to advertising partners. The basis of his income, the Boris Becker brand, which until then had had such positive connotations, was damaged.

“Everything that was left was silvered”

What impact did it have on advertising deals and his career as a TV expert?

At the time of her marriage to Lilly and the conception of Amadeus, business was no longer going well. And yet, Becker continued to live big. The Wimbledon mansion cost 30,000 rents a month. In addition, the expensive nanny, expensive travel, branded clothes, lots of money for Amadeus. All this could no longer be settled with the income as a TV expert. I think he was already in debt at the time. He started borrowing money. With friends, with banks, with business partners. You just have to pay it back at some point. Becker was not only bankrupt, but also faced claims of 60 million euros. Most recently at that point, he knew he could no longer do it without winning the lottery. The divorce from Lily was also expensive again. For the past five years, Becker has been bankrupt.

And then he sold his tournament trophies at.Cash to Rare“.

Becker made a deal with the insolvency administrator, after which he had to auction off all the prizes that were still there. Everything that was left was silvered. In return, he could keep other assets. Immediately after the bankruptcy, he had also transferred hundreds of thousands to Barbara and Lilly, which now – sometimes – became his mishap in court.

Lilly Becker despairs over Boris Becker's verdict:

Lilly Becker despairs over Boris Becker’s verdict: “He did not deserve it all”
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