Six-time Grand Slam-winning tennis legend Boris Becker recounted the horror experience of his 231 days in prison. Becker, deported to Germany from the United Kingdom last week, in an interview with Bild, said it was his “blood brothers” who helped him get out of prison. Becker was jailed in April this year for two and a half years for concealing £2.5m of assets to avoid paying debts after he had been declared bankrupt.
Becker said the nights spent in Wandsworth Prison, not far from where he won his three Wimbledon titles in London, were “atrocious” as two prisoners, namely John and Ike, on separate occasions had threatened to kill him.
“John, serving 25 years for multiple murders, threatened to harm him if he did not give him money,” said the 55-year-old, adding ten prisoners “saved my life” when he yelled out.
“And then the next day Ike asked if I would accept his apology,” said Becker.
“I could have rejected it. I encountered him in the laundry. He threw himself down to the ground and begged me for forgiveness. I raised him to his feet and hugged him. And I told him that I had great respect for him,” added Becker.
The tennis great said he will remain in contact with those who saved his life.
“When you have fought for survival together, that brings you together,” he said. “We needed each other.”
‘Loneliest moment of my life’
Recounting his experience in jail, Becker said the sound of the cell door closing will stay for him for the rest of his life. “When the cell door closes, then there is nothing left. The loneliest moment I’ve had in my life. The nights were atrocious,” he said.
“You could hear the screams from people trying to kill themselves or harm themselves, and people trading swear words. You don’t sleep,” added former coach of Novak Djokovic.
Talking about the state of the prison, he said it was “extremely dirty and extremely dangerous . . . there were murderers, child abusers, drug dealers, every kind of criminal you can imagine”.
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