Boris Becker has declared in a New Year message prison made him “stronger”.
The three-time Wimbledon champion, 55, made the claim amid reports he had tried to initiate defamation proceedings against a German celebrity who said he had been let off too lightly over his bankruptcy-related offences.
Speaking in a video recorded on a beach in the African island state of Sao Tomé and Príncipe, posted on his Instagram feed on New Year’s day, he said: “I call this the most difficult year of my life. But it’s done, it’s dusted.
“I came out alive – I think I came out of it stronger. I think my mental health is better than ever before.”
Boris was released from prison before Christmas after serving eight months of a two-and-a-half year sentence for attempting to hide assets of more than £2.5 million to avoid paying his debts.
He spent New Year having an island holiday after being deported back to Germany from the UK after serving time at Wandsworth prison then HMP Huntercombe.
Boris won’t be able to return to Britain for years as part of the terms of his early release.
It was reported last week he asked prosecutors to open defamation proceedings against Cathy Hummels, who criticised his early release.
She said on her ‘S***storms’ podcast he has “cheated many people, deceived them and fooled them”, adding: “That’s just not right... you simply have to go to prison just like everybody else.”
Even though Boris has not directly responded publicly to the claim, German newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported he has called for German prosecutors to investigate Ms Hummels for criminal defamation after she made the posts.
Dad-of-four Boris, reported to be set to marry his risk analyst girlfriend Lilian de Carvalho Monteiro, made the claim about prison making him stronger despite tearfully saying in a German TV interview after his release he was targeted with death threats behind bars.
He also said during a chat with broadcaster Sat.1 nobody gave “a f***” about his fame when he was in jail.