'Telling our son was the worst bit': Boris Becker's ex opens up about his prison sentence

28 May 2022, 11:32 | Updated: 28 May 2022, 11:33

Lilly Becker has opened up about the jailing of her former partner Boris Becker
Lilly Becker has opened up about the jailing of her former partner Boris Becker. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

Boris Becker's ex-wife has opened up about her former husband's prison sentence, saying telling their son was "the worst thing".

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Lilly Becker said she had to restrain her anger in order to tell 12-year-old Amadeus his father had been sent to prison.

"My instinct was to say it as it is - 'your father is in jail, he has f****d up," the 45-year-old told the Daily Mail.

"But you can't say that to a 12-year-old child, can you?

"Not when you are the mother... whose job on this earth is to protect that child."

Read more: Boris Becker moved to jail for foreigners facing deportation

Read more: Boris Becker 'confident' he will be out of jail and deported to Germany by Christmas

She added that, because "no one expected Boris to be jailed", she had not told Amadeus that his dad was on trial, which made the job of telling him he had been sent to prison all the more challenging.

In the end Ms Becker sought help from a family friend who taught in a nursery, who she said would know "how to explain it in a way that wasn't too brutal for him".

"It was one of the worst things I've ever had to do," recalled Ms Becker.

She said he was "flabbergasted", and that he repeatedly said 'I just saw him'.

"You know that thing when someone dies, and you can't believe it because they were just there? It was like that," she said.

Boris and Lilly Becker pictured in 2016
Boris and Lilly Becker pictured in 2016. Picture: Alamy

She said the 12-year-old has had lots of questions since that she has tried to answer, but she said she found it hard.

She said it was not "fair" that either her or Amadeus were in "this position", and hit out at her ex-husband.

"Boris has done this, and I am the one having to clean up the mess," she said.

"It's always women who have to clean up the mess."

The German tennis legend, who has been working as a TV pundit, was jailed for two and a half years last month for fraudulently concealing £2.5million after being declared bankrupt in 2017.

He also transferred almost €427,000 (around £390,000) from his business account to others, including to Ms Becker and to his other ex-wife Barbara Feltus.

Read more: Andrew Castle 'reeling' as his 'great mate' Boris Becker is jailed

Read more: Boris Becker: Downfall of a Wimbledon legend left relying on charity handouts

The father-of-four was found guilty of four charges under the Insolvency Act, including removal of property, two counts of failing to disclose estate and concealing debt, between June 21 and October 3 2017.

The six-time Grand Slam champion was acquitted of a further 20 counts, including nine counts of failing to hand over trophies and medals from his tennis career.

Becker on the day of his sentencing
Becker on the day of his sentencing. Picture: Alamy

Becker's barrister Jonathan Laidlaw QC said the tennis star's "fall from grace" was "the most public humiliation".

"Boris Becker has literally nothing and there is also nothing to show for what was the most glittering of sporting careers and that is correctly termed as nothing short of a tragedy," he said.

Read more: Nadine Dorries raps in viral TikTok clip with 'mic drop' to explain Online Safety Bill

Read more: Brits set to bask in sunshine over Jubilee weekend as 'rather warm' conditions forecast

"These proceedings have destroyed his career entirely and ruined any further prospect of earning an income.

"His reputation is in tatters.

"He will not be able to find work and will have to rely on the charity of others if he is to survive."