Former tennis star Boris Becker spoke out about his serving eight months of a 2 1/2-year sentence in a United Kingdom prison—and made a stunning revelation.
Becker, a six-time Grand Slam champion, was found guilty of financial crimes in April and released last Thursday. He was subsequently deported to his native Germany.
In the first interview since his release, with German broadcaster Sat 1, Becker said he received death threats from a fellow inmate.
The 55-year-old Becker referred to the inmate in question only as “John,” and said the inmate had a problem with Becker being friends with Black inmates. Consequently, John threatened to hurt and sexually assault him.
“I was shaking so bad,” Becker said, per CNN. “I shouted loudly and immediately [other] inmates came out and threatened him. … He was dangerous. He couldn’t understand why I was so connected with Black prisoners.”
Becker also admitted that prison allowed him to reflect on himself and his crime.
“In prison, you are a nobody. You are just a number. Mine was A2923EV,” Becker said. “And they don’t give a s— who you are. … I think I have rediscovered the person in me that I once was. I have learned a hard lesson, a very expensive one, a very painful one. But the whole thing has taught me something important and good. And some things happen for a reason.”
However, Becker said he felt extremely lonely during his months in prison.
“When the cell door closes, then there is nothing left,” Becker said. “The loneliest moment I’ve had in my life. The nights were atrocious. You could hear the screams from people trying to kill themselves or harm themselves, and people trading swear words. You don’t sleep.”
The German tennis star is best known for winning Wimbledon at age 17 as an unranked player. He went on to win six Grand Slam tournaments, including three Wimbledons.