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Boris Becker's ex-wife Lilly has spoken out after the tennis legend was sentenced to prison, saying the hardest part is telling their son his father isn't coming home.
Becker was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison on Friday for hiding hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of assets from creditors after he was declared bankrupt.
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The German legend was convicted last month of four charges under Britain's Insolvency Act, including failing to disclose, concealing and removing significant assets.
The 54-year-old was found guilty of transferring money to ex-wives Lilly, Barbara and Sharlely after his 2017 bankruptcy.
Speaking on Wednesday, Lilly Becker defended her former husband and described his sentence as “harsh”.
“I completely broke down," the Dutch model said on Piers Morgan’s 'Uncensored' show.
“I couldn’t believe what I was hearing because I was convinced, until the judge made her verdict, that he was going to get a little bit lighter than two and a half years.
“I had to keep it together and I don’t know how I did it.”
Lilly said the first person to reach out to her was Becker's current girlfriend Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro.
“We all pulled together – the ex-wife, the kids, his current girlfriend Lilian – the first thing we did was reach out to each other," she told Talk TV.
“It’s hard because it’s public, it’s everywhere. It’s hard because everyone has an opinion about it, rightly so.
“I’m here to show everybody that he has a bunch of really strong women behind him, and who are here not to speak for him, but to protect him.”
Lilly said telling their 12-year-old son two days later was “the hardest thing” she has ever had to do.
“I had to break it down to him,” she said.
“We as a family had purposefully not spoken about the trial or anything.
“But I had no choice but to break my heart – or actually his heart – last Sunday.
“I don’t wish this upon anybody. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do.”
Lilly and Boris Becker divorced in 2018 after nine years of marriage.
Martina Navratilova responds to Boris Becker sentence
Meanwhile, fellow tennis legend Martina Navratilova said Becker "should have been smarter".
“Boris had some really bad advice and then he made some really bad decisions,” she said on 'Uncensored'.
“And now he’s paying as high a price as you can. I just hope that he’ll be okay and then he’ll come out all right on the other side.
“My heart goes out to him and his family. He made some really bad mistakes and he’s paying for him dearly.
“He didn’t hurt anybody. He was just trying to save his own property, but that doesn’t excuse obviously, shirking tax, etc.
“As tennis players, we depend on other people to tell us what’s right, what’s wrong, lawyers, (accountants), etc.
“I’ve gotten some really lousy advice over the years, nothing illegal, but lost lots of money because you depend on these people to do their job so you can do yours.
“Not to excuse what Boris did. Again, he’s paying dearly and I just hope his family survives it intact and most of all Boris does because it is really rough.”
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