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Boris Becker was “shocked and embarrassed” after being declared bankrupt, court hears

Declared bankrupt in 2017, Boris Becker is accused of failing to hand over assets such as trophies and medals he has won throughout his legendary career

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Boris Becker in court after being declared bankrupt

Tennis icon Boris Becker told court on Monday he was “shocked and embarrassed” to learn he was bankrupt just days before Wimbledon in 2017.

Becker told a jury at Southwark Crown Court that damaging publicity had derailed his “brand” and as a result he had not made enough money to pay off his debts. He was declared bankrupt on June 21, 2017. The six-time Grand Slam champion is on trial after being accused of failing to turn over certain assets. These are believed to be nine trophies and medals he has won over the course of his illustrious career.

Becker admitted he wanted to repay a loan of over £3million granted to him by bank Arbuthnot Latham, including through the sale of his Mallorca property. The court heard the decision was made just days before the Wimbledon Championships, where he was mainly working for the BBC.

The 54-year-old revealed to the court that he was “very embarrassed”, adding: “Because it was world news and I walked through the Wimbledon gate and everyone knew. I was embarrassed because I was bankrupt.”

Becker also told jurors the bankruptcy came at a stressful time with then-wife Sharlely Becker, as the couple lived in “separate quarters” at their rented home in Wimbledon. Commenting on Roger Federer’s quarter-final game, Becker said: “My son called me and said my wife was tearing down the house – the furniture, the windows. The police came … while I was there.”

After arriving in court on Monday, along with his partner Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro, Becker sat on the witness stand to testify. His solicitor Jonathan Laidlaw QC detailed the German’s career, covering every single base when he burst onto the scene aged 17 in 1985 to win the Wimbledon men’s singles titles.







Boris Becker pictured arriving at Southwark Crown Court on March 22
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The court heard the former world number one made big money, winning around £38million in prize money and sponsorship deals during his playing days. Becker claimed to have helped his parents build a home in Germany and paid cash for a family home in Munich, a property in Miami and the Mallorca estate, which was reportedly worth around £42million at the peak of the market.

However, Becker said his income “dropped dramatically” after his retirement in 1999 – despite coaching 20-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic and his work in commentary. He mainly pointed to his “expensive divorce” from Barbara Becker in 2001, which involved payments to their two sons while he left his daughter Anna Ermakova and her mother with a £2.5million flat in Chelsea supported.

Becker owed Swiss authorities around £4m and £800,000 as a result of separate disputes over a conviction for tax evasion and attempted tax evasion in Germany respectively in 2002. The court heard that Becker’s bankruptcy was also due to a £3.85m loan from Arbuthnot Latham in 2013 and £1.2m – including an interest rate of 25% – borrowed from British businessman John Caldwell in 2014.

Becker claimed his income has fallen dramatically and he is struggling to pay off his loans: “In the first year of the loan I paid back about a million euros (just over £800,000) but in the second year I struggled because different companies wouldn’t did extend their contracts.







Boris Becker has won Wimbledon three times in his career, as well as two Australian Open and one US Open title
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“My image wasn’t as good anymore, the Becker brand wasn’t as highly regarded as it used to be and you didn’t want to be associated with a brand that was being criticized in the media.”

Becker said he has been public around the world but has suffered particularly in Germany and Britain, which has hurt his earning opportunities in the two countries. He denies 24 charges under the bankruptcy code.

The charges include nine counts of failing to present coveted awards, seven counts of concealing property, five counts of failing to disclose property, two counts of removal of property and one count of concealment of debt. Becker is also accused of failing to hand over nine trophies, including two of his three singles titles at Wimbledon, an Olympic gold medal, his 1991 and 1996 Australian Open trophies and his Davis Cup trophy and gold coin.

He allegedly hid around £950,000 after selling a Mercedes dealership he had owned in Germany and transferred hundreds of thousands of pounds to other accounts – including those of Barbara and Sharlely. Becker is also accused of failing to declare two German properties and interest in the flat his daughter occupies, as well as hiding a bank loan of nearly £700,000 and shares in a tech company.

The process, which began on March 21, is still ongoing.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/tennis/boris-becker-bankrupt-wimbledon-court-26578378 Boris Becker was "shocked and embarrassed" after being declared bankrupt, court hears

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