How much joke does a celebrity have to endure?

BEcker versus Pocher – that could also be the name of one of the many game shows on TV. The duel between the former tennis star and the comedian will only take place in front of a dozen spectators in the district court on Tuesday Offenburg and the two will not appear in person – Becker is currently serving a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence in Great Britain – but leave the courtroom to their lawyers.

Boris Becker Oliver Pocher sued for injunctive relief. The stumbling block is a contribution from the RTL program “Pocher – dangerously honest”, which was broadcast in October 2020. The previous August, the former Wimbledon winner had launched his first own fashion collection, and a few weeks later criminal investigations were initiated in Great Britain as part of the bankruptcy proceedings against him. Pocher made fun of both in the post. First he called for a fundraising campaign for the financially troubled Becker: “Make Boris rich again”. Because the reporters – at least that’s what the article says – did not succeed in personally presenting Becker with the sum of around 500 euros, Pocher and the editors decided on a ruse: They awarded Becker a specially invented “Fashion Brand Award” for his fashion collection and worked the money into the trophy. Becker thanked him in a video recording – and was probably only informed about the actual background when the program was broadcast.

Chamber: “Pictures of Contemporary History”

According to his lawyer, his client felt that the sixteen-minute film both “offended him and violated his personal rights”. Becker was deceived about the broadcast and never agreed to it. pochers Lawyers, on the other hand, not only pointed out that Pocher has no influence on the RTL broadcast schedule, but also on Becker’s role as a public figure.

Boris Becker on his way to court in London in April

Boris Becker on his way to court in London in April

Image: dpa

So how much joke at his own expense does a German celebrity have to put up with – and where are the limits of satire? In this case, the chamber decides: Becker has to endure Pocher’s broadcast. Because he did not agree to the broadcast, even in the opinion of the judges – this consent is not necessary at all, since it is about “portraits of contemporary history”. The topic of the article is the insolvency proceedings, in which there is a public interest – Becker is in the public eye as a long-time tennis player, through subsequent television appearances and most recently his fashion collection.

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