Boris Becker says an inmate “tried to kill him” while the tennis great was imprisoned in a British prison during an interview broadcast by German broadcaster Sat1 on Tuesday.
The prisoner at Hintercombe Prison, whom he calls Baker John, has been in prison for more than 16 years for killing two people when he was 18.
Baker claimed that John was unhappy with the Germans’ friendship with black prisoners and on one occasion threatened to sexually assault him. John verbally explained the physical harm he would do to him.
“I was shaking so badly,” Baker said when he recalled the encounter. “I screamed loudly and immediately the prisoners came out and threatened him,” added the 55-year-old former tennis star.
According to Baker, a group of about 10 prisoners, mostly black, came to step in and protect him when he cried out for help. The prisoners arrive and order John to leave at once or he will be beaten.
It was dangerous. “He couldn’t understand why I was associated with the black prisoners,” Baker said.
“The prison world is a little different,” Baker added, describing how “John later asked him for forgiveness” and a chance for reconciliation. “I hugged him and told him I had great respect for him.”
In April, Baker was found guilty of four counts in connection with the 2017 bankruptcy case under the Insolvency Act and was sentenced to two and a half years by Judge Deborah Taylor at Southwark Crown Court in April.
In London’s Wandsworth Prison, where Baker spent the first weeks after his conviction, the 55-year-old said a fellow inmate tried to blackmail him and “wanted my money”.
He says again that his fellow prisoners protected him from any physical harm.
The UK’s Prisons and Probation Service did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.
Becker also revealed that several high-profile friends – including Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp – had wanted to visit him in prison.
I’m a very good friend of Jurgen Klopp,” said Becker, who was told by prison authorities that the Liverpool manager was “not allowed to visit you because it’s well known.” We are afraid for his safety, and we don’t want noise.”
Liverpool did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.
The former world No. 1 tennis player is now in Germany after spending eight months in prison.
“In jail, you’re nobody. You’re just mine. My number was A2923EV,” Becker told German broadcaster Stephen Gatien of SAT1, according to tabloid Bild.
“And they don’t give a damn about you,” added Baker, who was due to serve half his sentence in prison.
“I think I’ve rediscovered the person in me as it used to be,” Becker told Gätjen.
“I learned a hard lesson, a very expensive lesson, a very painful lesson. But the whole thing taught me something important and good. Some things happen for a reason,” Baker added.
Jatin said his time in prison made Baker “really think about his life”. You have to realize: Boris Becker has been in the spotlight since he was 17 years old.
“And suddenly he’s locked up, can’t go out, gets visits only twice a month, and is forced to fit into a strict prison system. I definitely had the impression that this experience really affected him.”
Baker spent his first weeks behind bars in Wandsworth. Becker told Gätjen that he was “very afraid of ending up in a group cell”.
According to Gätjen, Becker was alone for the “first four days without contact with the outside world and was locked in his cell around the clock, with one hour out per day”.
The German made tennis history when he won Wimbledon aged 17 in 1985 and won five more Grand Slam titles over the span of 11 years.
He has remained active in the tennis world since retiring from the sport, notably as coach of Novak Djokovic and through frequent media appearances as a commentator and analyst.
In Becker’s court case in April, the Grand Slam champion was accused of “playing with the system in bad faith” by concealing and transferring assets, denying creditors more than 2 million pounds ($2.51 million) in assets.
Baker earlier denied all charges, saying he cooperated in the bankruptcy proceedings, according to Reuters.
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