Auction of tennis star Boris Becker's items put on hold
June 28, 2018
The German tennis giant said "finally some good news" had come. It's the latest twist in Boris Becker's troubles after he tried to claim diplomatic immunity to get out of bankruptcy proceedings.
A planned auction of former German tennis star Boris Becker's trophies and memorabilia has been put on hold at the last minute, according to his lawyers.
More than 80 items, including a Golden Camera, a US Open trophy, a Bambi award and a replica of a Wimbledon trophy were to go under the hammer at the Knapp gallery in London on Thursday under the direction of his bankruptcy trustees.
The former tennis pro has been wracked by financial problems for years, leading a London court last year to declare Becker bankrupt.
In a desperate bid earlier this month, the three-time Wimbledon champion sought diplomatic immunity from bankruptcy proceedings in Britain, citing his appointment as a sports attache for the Central African Republic.
However, the poor, conflict-wracked African country said the diplomatic passport Becker was holding was a fake. He and his legal team still maintain he has diplomatic immunity.
According to a letter Becker posted on Twitter, his lawyers threatened to file an injunction against the trustees, arguing that the items for sale were "intensely personal items of purely sentimental value to him."
The items included a used pair of socks, signed trainers, wrist bands, a track suit and a certificate from the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, according the McCue & Partners law firm.
Becker's lawyers argued the items on the auction block were personal items exempt from sale under bankruptcy law. In response, the trustees halted the auction, making it unnecessary to go to court for an injunction.
His legal team also said that the auction appeared to be deliberately scheduled for around the time of the Wimbledon 2018, when Becker will be a regular on BBC television as a Wimbledon analyst.
Becker said the proposed auction was designed to humiliate and cause personal pain to him.
The value of the items, estimated at around €100,000 ($116,000), would represent just a fraction of the several million Becker owes creditors.
Becker shot to fame as Germany's Grand Slam winning poster boy in 1985 when he was just 17. He remains the youngest men's singles Wimbledon champion. But his off-court indiscretions since then have not always endeared him to the public: They include a broom closet romp with a model while his first wife was pregnant, a tax evasion trial and a string of failed businesses.
Though Becker ultimately won six Grand Slam trophies and millions of dollars in prize money, the costly settlements of his various romantic entanglements, including divorce, have whittled his wealth away.
A series of business ventures have also proved unsuccessful, including an internet organic food firm and the Becker Tower in Dubai.
At the end of May, it was announced that Becker and his second wife, Dutch model Sharlely "Lilly" Kerssenberg, would separate.