Former Wimbledon champion Boris Becker told a London court he felt “shocked” and “embarrassed” after being declared bankrupt at the All England Club just days before the 2017 tournament. The six-time Grand Slam winner said the negative publicity had damaged “Becker’s brand” and he struggled to earn enough money to pay off his debts. Becker was declared bankrupt in June 2017 and is currently on trial for not relinquishing assets, including nine trophies and medals from his glittering tennis career.
The 54-year-old German said he had wanted to pay off a loan of more than £3 million ($3.9 million) from private bank Arbuthnot Latham, including through the sale of his estate in Spain.
The court heard that the bankruptcy decision came days before Wimbledon, where Becker worked for the BBC and for Australian and Japanese television stations.
“As you can imagine, I was very shocked by the fact. Because it was all over the world news, and I walked through the gates of Wimbledon and everyone knew it. I was embarrassed because I was bankrupt,” said Becker.
He told jurors that the bankruptcy was also in the midst of a “stressful time” with his then-wife Sharlely “Lilly” Becker, as they lived in “separate quarters” in his rented house in Wimbledon.
He described an incident while commenting on the men’s quarterfinals involving Roger Federer, saying: “My son called me and said my wife was tearing down the house – the furniture, the windows. The police came.. … while I was on site .”
Becker, who arrived at the court with his partner Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro, sat on the witness stand on Monday to testify.
He said he faced harmful publicity “around the world”, but especially in Germany and the UK, which has affected his ability to make money.
“It’s very hard when you’re bankrupt and it’s in the headlines every week. It’s very hard to make a lot of money with my name,” he said.
The former world number one, who was occasionally helped to testify by a German translator, has denied 24 charges under the Insolvency Act.
They included nine counts of failing to hand over trophies and other awards, seven of concealing property, five of not disclosing estate, two of removing property and one of concealing debt.
He is accused of failing to hand over nine trophies, including two of his three Wimbledon titles in men’s singles, an Olympic gold medal, his 1991 and 1996 Australian Open trophies and his Davis Cup trophy and gold coin.
(This story was not edited by DailyExpertNews staff and was generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)
Topics mentioned in this article