Boris Becker’s daughter has said ‘it’s not fair’ her little brother will have to go without his father after the tennis legend was jailed for bankruptcy fraud.
Anna Ermakova, 22, said she was concerned about the welfare of her younger half-brother Amadeus, 12, and that she had written to the court pleading for leniency before their dad was sentenced.
The six-time Grand Slam winner, who earned £35m during his illustrious tennis career, was imprisoned for two and a half years on Friday after a jury found he hid millions worth of assets to avoid paying his debts.
Anna, who was infamously conceived on the stairwell of the Nobu restaurant in Park Lane, told German newspaper Bild: ‘I’m really in shock that my father has been sentenced to two years and six months.
‘I will support him and I will visit him whenever I can. I hope that will help him a little to get through the time.’
The model added that she had ‘helped as best I could’ and had written to the court in support of her father before he was sentenced.
‘I wrote a letter to the court to express my concern for my little half-brother, Amadeus,’ she said.
‘After all, he is only 12 and will now have to do without a father figure, whom he will lack during a difficult phase of his development. It’s not fair to him. It’s going to be tough for Amadeus.’
Becker, 54, was declared bankrupt in June 2017 over an unpaid loan of more than £3m on his estate in Mallorca, Spain.
The German-born national, who has lived in the UK since 2012, was facing up to seven years in prison after being found guilty of four charges under the Insolvency Act relating to his bankruptcy.
The former world number one said ‘expensive lifestyle habits’ had drained his finances, as well as a costly divorce and payments towards the upkeep of his four children.
He told the trial he had co-operated with trustees tasked with securing his assets, even offering up his wedding ring, and relied on the advisers who managed his life.
But investigators discovered he transferred almost £390,000 from his business account to others, including those of his ex-wife Barbara Becker and estranged wife Sharlely ‘Lilly’ Becker.
He also failed to declare his share in a £1 million property in his home town of Leimen, Germany.
The court heard how he hid a £700,000 bank loan – worth £1.1 million with interest – and concealed 75,000 shares in a tech firm, valued at £66,000.
Judge Deborah Taylor sentenced the Wimbledon champion to 30 months’ imprisonment, of which he will serve at least half.
He will serve the sentence at Wandsworth Prison, only 2.4 miles from the tennis court where he won three grand slam titles in his heyday.
Becker, who has been a commentator for the BBC, appeared in the dock at London’s Southwark Crown Court yesterday wearing a grey suit and a striped tie in the Wimbledon colours of purple and grey.
He showed no emotion as the sentence was read out.
In mitigation, Becker’s lawyer, Jonathan Laidlaw QC, requested a suspended sentence on the basis the trial had ‘destroyed his career entirely’.
But the judge rejected the plea and said Becker had shown no remorse or acceptance of guilt.
Friends and close contacts of the former sporting champion have expressed sympathy over him being jailed. His biographer questioned whether he will ‘survive mentally’ while Piers Morgan said he felt ‘so sorry’ for him.
Becker’s friend and fellow ex-tennis star Andrew Castle told LBC ‘he’s a good man’, adding: ‘I’m sad that his life has come to this and I hope he’s able to rebuild on the other side.’
ITV broadcaster Matt Chapman questioned whether prison was the most appropriate sentence for Becker, tweeting: ‘While I totally appreciate Boris Becker has broken the law in many ways, I can’t help but feel he would be much better used teaching tennis to under privileged kids each day rather than stuck in a cell. Make good from bad.’
Meanwhile, Bild, Germany’s biggest tabloid, said there was ‘no mercy’ shown towards Becker by the judge, a sentiment further echoed by newspaper Bunte who also branded the judge ‘merciless’.
Anna posted a message of thanks on Instagram over the weekend, letting fans of Becker and herself know she was grateful for their support.
Anna was the result of a one night stand between Becker and Russian model Angela Ermakova.
The affair cost Becker his marriage to first wife Barbra Becker, with whom he had two children.
Amadeus is the son of Becker and his second ex-wife Lilly Becker.
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