Convicted tennis legend Boris Becker has given a controversial £435,000 TV interview to German media about his eight months behind bars.
Details of the hour-long chat are being kept closely guarded but MailOnline can reveal the three times Wimbledon ace Becker, 55, will describe his terror at being locked up in a ‘shared cell’ with murderers and rapists.
He also discloses his fear plans for his release last week would be scuppered at the eleventh hour forcing him to spend Christmas behind bars and away from his beloved mother Elvira, 87.
Since his release last Thursday he has been holed up in the hotel with final editing of the interview going right down to the wire for Tuesday’s transmission on German channel Sat 1.
Convicted tennis legend Boris Becker has given a controversial £435,000 TV interview to German media about his eight months behind bars
Jailbird Boris Becker is set to bankroll his new life in Germany by funnelling vast earnings from television appearances and book deals to a company set up by his girlfriend
He is thought to be returning to his hometown of Leimen (above left), where his 87-year-old mother Elvira lives, for an emotional reunion with his loved ones
An insider said: ‘It’s been a very rapid turn around but it’s taken time because the interview has been done in German and English. The aim is to distribute it abroad to a world wide market and there has been significant interest.
‘He’s been so busy he hasn’t even had time to see his mother but they have spoken on the telephone. The final editing will go down to just a few hours before broadcast on Tuesday night and then afterwards there will be a live TV debate.’
Becker was freed from HMP Hunterscombe in Oxfordshire last week and flown by the TV station on a private jet from Biggin Hill airfield in Kent to its Munich HQ to record the interview.
Interviewer Steven Gatjen saw the former World number one three times in prison while he was serving his eight-month sentence, initially at category B HMP Wandsworth and then at the lower category C Hunterscombe.
Speaking ahead of the show he said:’ When I visited him in prison, a very slim Boris Becker greeted me with a smile on his face. In conversation, I found him surprisingly cheerful, like someone who had a lot of time to think.
‘And he was very emotional, especially in the moments when he spoke about his time in Wandsworth First Prison. His description of the first days in Wandsworth Prison.
‘It’s not just people who have committed financial crimes who are incarcerated there, but also sex offenders, murderers and people who have committed major robberies.
‘Boris Becker told me that he was very afraid of ending up in a collective cell. For the first four days, however, he was alone, incommunicado, and locked in his cell 24 hours a day, with an hour out a day.
‘He didn’t even take a shower during this time because he didn’t know how and where that was actually done in prison. After those first four days in solitary confinement, his only goal was to get out and work.
‘He just wanted some fresh air. He said he would have done anything for it. He did not enjoy a celebrity bonus while in custody.’
Becker, 55, was believed to have been accompanied by Home Office officials as he was driven from HMP Huntercombe in Oxfordshire (pictured)
The arrangement will allow Becker, 55, legally to cling on to a fortune – and keep it away from creditors owed millions – after his early release from jail in Britain last week
Becker – who has lived in the UK since 2012 – was sentenced to two and a half years in April at Southwark Crown Court after being found guilty of four charges of insolvency relating to his bankruptcy.
The jury decided he had hidden £2.5 million worth of assets and loans to avoid repaying debts to his creditors.
He was freed after just eight months under a special ruling that allows non-UK citizens to be sent back to their native countries to ease pressure on prisons.
Speaking of their first meeting Steven added: ‘He seemed cautious, but I also got the impression that he wanted to get his experiences of the last few months off his chest.
‘And it was extremely important for him to make it clear that he did not enjoy a celebrity bonus in prison. I think the imprisonment, the separation from family and friends, this completely different life, made him really reflect on his life.
‘You have to be aware: Boris Becker has been in the limelight since he was 17 years old. And then suddenly he’s locked up, can’t go out, only gets visitors twice a month, is forced to conform to a strict prison system.
‘In any case, I had the impression that this experience really blew him away. When we met in prison, I had the feeling that there was someone sitting in front of me who was looking for a new beginning.’
Steven added: ‘I believe that we will meet someone who will speak very emotionally and honestly about his time in prison, but who has also reflected intensively on himself and his situation.
‘Boris Becker has been under tremendous pressure for the last few weeks. He suspected that he would be released, but that was not certain.
‘And this feeling, this hope, almost destroyed him, he said. He has constantly tried to ensure that he does not attract negative attention, that he behaves.
‘But on the other hand, he has forbidden himself to think too much about freedom, lest he become arrogant, and risk being fired. That burden will be off his shoulders, and I think he’s really willing to clean up and get a lot of things straight.’
MailOnline can also exclusively reveal that he was in such a rush to get away from prison that he gave away his clothes, shoes and books to fellow inmates taking with him only photos of his partner Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro and his children.
A source said: ‘Prison life really changed Boris and he saw how fortunate he was and how lucky he has been with his life compared to some of the others in jail with him. He wants to make amends and start his life over again.’
Under the terms of his release Becker will not be allowed back into Britain for ten years which means his commentating career with the BBC is over and he is looking at overseas TV roles with German media.
Since he flew back to Germany he has not been spotted and he is thought to be staying in a luxury hotel near Munich while final arrangements are being made to the TV interview.
He has not even had time to visit his elderly mum Elvira, 87, at their family home in Leimen near Stuttgart although she has told friends she is ‘excited to be seeing him’.
She has not left her home – which was built in 1990 with the proceeds of his Wimbledon wins in 1985, 1986 and 1989 – and has panoramic views over Leimen.
A neighbour stopped by to take in a bundle of newspapers and later told MailOnline:’Elvira is doing very well. She is looking forward to seeing her son. She hasn’t seen him yet but she’s had her hair done especially.
‘They have spoken on the telephone lots of times since he was freed and will be spending Christmas with Boris.’
Becker made tennis history when he won Wimbledon aged 17 in 1985 and went on to win five more grand slam titles over the next 11 years.