Disgraced tennis icon Boris Becker gave his side of the story after being released from prison.
Former tennis icon Boris Becker held his first interview since being released from prison in the UK, as he was deported back to his homeland Germany. He was allegedly paid £435,00 to speak with German outlet Sat TV after being released from HMP Huntercombe, serving eight months of his two-and-a-half-year sentence for being found guilty of four charges under the Insolvency Act. Becker explained his life in prison, receiving death threats and how Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was unable to visit him in a detailed description of his time behind bars.
Becker admitted that he thought he would have been killed in prison, as he claimed that several murderers told him that they were going to harm the tennis icon. “I thought I would lose my life in Wandsworth,” Becker admitted. “Someone – a murderer I later found out – wanted my coat and he wanted money and he said he would kill me if he didn’t get it.
“Then in Huntercombe another murderer said they wanted to kill me, he told me what he was going to do to me unless I let him do my laundry, this was only very recently, in October and when he told me my food tray was shaking. But, in the end, the next day he fell to his knees in front of me, apologised and kissed my hand and said he respected me.
“Three people saved me in prison, they were James, Russell and Bill, they were listeners and they knew their way around and they also wanted to protect me. I had two big concerns, one was a double cell, sharing a cell with someone who could attack you or threaten you and then the shower cubicles. You close the door, take your clothes off and look behind you, it’s not human. You have seen the films and dropping the soap but then the governor explained to me that it would be safe, so I was grateful to him.”
Reds boss and compatriot Klopp has maintained a strong relationship with the Wimbledon champion over the years, but Becker revealed that the coach was unable to visit him due to safety concerns. “We are good friends and I gave his name to the authorities but then they came back and said that he couldn’t come as he was too famous and they were concerned for his safety,” Becker added.
“I was allowed two visits a month and I had to give these names to the authorities so they could be checked out but it is a very slow process. The first time Lilian [Becker’s girlfriend] came she said she was shocked at how I looked, although she only told me that later.”
Becker served eight months of his sentence before being deported, and explained how much he struggled in prison amid poor living conditions. “It’s extremely full,” Becker claimed. “Extremely dirty, extremely dangerous, murderers, sex offers, drug deals, you meet all types. You go out of your cell and you have to look after your own skin because the guards don’t do it for you.
“When the cell door is slammed shut at 8.00pm, no one told me when it would open again and that’s when your whole world collapses and you are alone with your thoughts. I was desperate, I was afraid and I bought some books with me to read. The food was always the same during the week – rice and potatoes but on Sunday we would get a roast, usually chicken.
“I just looked at the floor a lot. I didn’t want to look anyone in the eye and upset them. It was extremely dangerous and extremely dirty. It’s just cell after cell and you meet all sorts in there, all criminals from London, murderers, child molesters, drug dealers and rapists. I was body searched, because they look for drugs and parts of mobile telephones and then my picture was taken and some people wanted to have their picture taken with me.
What he took to prison
After spending eight months at HMP Huntercombe, Becker admitted that he learned a “hard lesson” before returning to Germany with his family. “I think I rediscovered the person I used to be,” Becker claimed.
“I learned a hard lesson. A very expensive one. A very painful one. “But the whole thing has something important and good for me learned. And some things happen for a good reason. You’re nobody in prison. You’re just a number. Mine was A2923EV. I wasn’t called Boris. I was a number. And they don’t give a f*** who you are.”
Leaving prison and being deported
The 55-year-old was freed from jail after being approved for a fast-track scheme in which foreign citizens are deported if certain conditions are met. The former BBC commentator was deported on Thursday, and he described the process of leaving prison.
“I sat on the edge of my bed from six in the morning and hoped that the cell door would open,” he said. “They came at half past seven, unlocked themselves and asked, ‘Are you ready?’ I said: ‘Let’s go!’ I had already packed everything.”