Boris Becker Reveals Inmate Threats, Feeling Hunger For First Time In Prison

Tennis nice Boris Becker tearfully recounted the second the door of his single-occupancy cell at Britain’s Wandsworth jail closed for the primary time, talking publicly after serving eight months for chapter offenses.

“It was the loneliest moment I’ve ever had in life,” Becker mentioned in an interview with German broadcaster SAT.1 that aired Tuesday, recalling how hours earlier he had been unable to say farewell to his family members earlier than being led downstairs to the courtroom jail.

Boris Becker arrives at Southwark Crown Courtroom in London, Friday, April 29, 2022.

The three-time Wimbledon champion was sentenced to 30 months in jail in April for illicitly transferring massive quantities of cash and hiding belongings after he was declared bankrupt. Becker would usually have needed to serve half of his sentence earlier than being eligible for launch, however was launched early below a fast-track deportation program for international nationals.

Becker, who was deported to his native Germany on Dec. 15, mentioned he prayed each day within the three weeks between his conviction and sentencing, aware that there was an opportunity he won’t get away with a suspended sentence.

Arriving in Wandsworth, the 55-year-old Becker mentioned he feared assaults by different inmates.

“The many films I saw beforehand didn’t help,” he mentioned.

Becker mentioned jail authorities appeared to have tried to make sure his security, allocating him a single cell and getting three skilled inmates — or “listeners” — to information him in his new life behind bars.

That included dealing with the dearth of meals, Becker mentioned, as jail fare was largely restricted to rice, potatoes and sauce. “Sunday roasts” consisted of a rooster drumstick, he mentioned.

“I felt hunger for the first time in my life,” mentioned Becker, who gained the primary of many thousands and thousands of {dollars} as a participant on the age of 17.

Violence was an issue, he mentioned, recounting situations at Wandsworth and later at HMP Huntercombe the place inmates threatened to hurt him till others stepped in.

Identified for his showmanship on the court docket, Becker mentioned he immersed himself in stoic philosophy whereas in jail and embraced the chance to show fellow prisoners math and English — regardless of being German.

In November, fellow inmates managed to prepare three chocolate truffles for his birthday, Becker mentioned.

“I’ve never experienced such solidarity in the free world,” Becker mentioned, including that he deliberate to remain in contact with buddies he’d made in jail.

For Becker, who rose to stardom in 1985 at age 17 when he turned the primary unseeded participant to win the lads’s singles title at Wimbledon, the jail sentence was a heavy blow.

Requested concerning the decide’s assertion that Becker had proven “no humility,” he acknowledged within the interview that “maybe I should have (been) even more clear, more emotional” through the trial.

Becker additionally admitted fault.

“Of course I was guilty,” he mentioned of the 4 out of 29 counts he was convicted on.

Nonetheless, Becker mentioned he “it could have been much worse.”

After retiring from skilled tennis in 1999, the six-time Grand Slam champion labored as a coach, tv pundit, investor and superstar poker participant.

Now he hopes to show a brand new web page and keep away from the errors he made up to now — lots of which he blamed on laziness and dangerous monetary recommendation obtained from others that led to his 2017 chapter.

“It’s up to me to keep going down that path and stay true to myself,” he mentioned. “I believe prison was good for me.”

Becker mentioned he and associate Lilian De Carvalho Monteiro doubtless gained’t keep in Germany, the place privateness is difficult to take care of. Instead, he urged Miami or Dubai may grow to be his subsequent house.

However the former world No. 1′s time exterior the limelight most likely gained’t final lengthy.

Organizers of the annual Berlinale mentioned Tuesday that subsequent yr’s movie pageant will function the premiere of an as-yet untitled documentary about Becker by Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney, with a purple carpet look by the protagonist doubtless.