Three-times A former Wimbledon champion said that his eight months in jail were “very, very different from what you see in the movies.”
Boris Becker has described his time spent in jail in the United Kingdom as “brutal,” adding that he was forced to surround himself with “tough boys” for safety while he was there. Becker has talked publicly about his time spent in prison.
The three-time winner of the men’s singles event at Wimbledon was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for concealing £2.5 million worth of assets and loans in a bankruptcy fraud case. He spent eight months of that term. After serving his time in jail, he was freed in December and then deported from the UK.
Becker stated the following on BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast: “Whoever argues that jail life isn’t unpleasant and isn’t challenging, I think they are lying.
“It was a very gruesome… ” a truly one-of-a-kind adventure in comparison to anything you’ve ever seen on screen or read about in a book or a movie.”
He stated that convicts had to “fight every day” for survival and that being a famous tennis player meant nothing in jail, where he had been surrounded by “murderers, by drug dealers, by rapists, by people smugglers, by dangerous criminals.” He also stated that being a great tennis player meant nothing in prison.
You have to put up a struggle every day just to stay alive. Because you are in need of protection, you need to take action as soon as possible and surround yourself with what I would refer to as the tough lads.
He described his time inside bars as “humbling,” and he went on to say, “I’m a survivor; I’m a tough cookie.” I have accepted the consequences of my actions, but I have also accepted the glory that comes with them, and if anything, this has made me a stronger and better man.
According to him, he is currently working on the “third chapter” of his life.
When asked about his tennis career and how he handled becoming the youngest ever winner of the men’s singles title at Wimbledon in 1985 at the age of 17, Becker stated that there is no “handbook” that outlines how a teenager should act in such a circumstance. According to him, both the fame and the riches had been “very new.”
He stated that he had never had any training in business or money, and that after his tennis career, he took choices that were “probably badly advised,” but he added, “It was my decision.” He never went to college for business or finance.
Becker, who is now 55 years old, was initially held at the Wandsworth jail in south-west London for the first few weeks of his arrest. After that, he was transferred to the Huntercombe prison in Oxfordshire.
Even though he will not be allowed to go back to the UK until October 2024, he expressed how much he missed the city of London and how much he would “love” to resume his work as a commentator at Wimbledon.
Becker said that he has communicated with the BBC about participating in their coverage in the future, but he stated that “it’s not my decision.”
During an interview given prior to the broadcast of a new television series on his life and work, he stated that his time in prison had taught him many lessons, one of which was discovering “who’s with you and who’s not with you.”
“If there’s one thing it did, it taught me humility. “It most definitely opened my eyes to the fact that it doesn’t matter if your name is Boris Becker or Paul Smith; if you break the law, you get convicted, and you get locked up; that’s how it works for everyone,” he stated.