Six-time Grand Slam tennis champion Boris Becker has been jailed for two and a half years for hiding £2.5m worth of assets and loans in order to avoid paying debts
Piers Morgan has come out in support of Boris Becker after the German tennis legend was sentenced to two and a half years in jail.
Earlier this month Becker, 54, was found guilty at Southwark Crown Court of removal of property, and two counts of failing to disclose estate and concealing debt. Jurors concluded he hid £2.5m worth of assets and loans.
Despite him being acquitted on a further 20 charges, including nine counts of failing to hand over his tennis trophies and medals, prosecutor Rebecca Chalkley said the jury had found the commentator had acted “deliberately and dishonestly.” She also accused him of “seeking to blame others,” before sentencing him.
He had been previously warned he faced a possible seven years behind bars on each charge. His previous conviction for tax evasion and attempted tax evasion in Germany in 2002, was also taken into account.
In 1985, Becker shot to superstardom at the age of 17, when he became the youngest singles male player to win at Wimbledon despite being unseeded. He went on to win a further two titles at SW19, two Australian Opens and a US Open, as well as Olympic gold at the 1992 Barcelona Games.
His fall from grace has been greeted with shock in tennis circles, but it seems the star can at least count on the support of Morgan. In the past, the pair have attended football games together, with Morgan an Arsenal supporter while Becker follows Chelsea.
Morgan has himself been in the headlines this week, having launched his new show Piers Morgan Uncensored on TalkTV. The notorious presenter has already landed exclusive interviews with the likes of Donald Trump, Tyson Fury, and Sharon Osbourne.
And on Twitter today, he posted: “So sorry about Boris Becker. Great guy, and always enjoyed his company. See you on the other side, mate.”
As so often with Morgan, 57, the tweet proved divisive, with many accusing him of essentially defending a criminal: “Sorry? It’s all his own fault and now he’s serving his time,” said @dpkbell82.
@Fleece1969 echoed similar sentiments: “Sorry? He got caught trying to hide money from creditors and now going to jail. His own fault.” Some however, mistook Morgan saying “see you on the other side” for Becker being dead.
@markgoldbridge, well known on Twitter for his love of Manchester United, posted: “Who else went searching to see if he’d passed away?” while @walker_sonya said: “I hadn’t heard what happened and thought he had died.”
Becker, who has been based in London since 2012, also became renowned as a coach after retirement. In their three years together, he led Novak Djokovic to six Grand Slam titles. He was also involved in overseeing youth development and the Davis Cup team at the German Tennis Federation until stepping down in 2020.