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 Offenburg district court on Tuesday, and the two will not compete personally – Becker is currently serving a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence in Great Britain – but leave it to their lawyers courtroom.
Boris Becker has sued Oliver Pocher for an injunction. 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. Pocher’s 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.
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.
Although the satirical treatment of the topic is the focus of the article, it still has informational value. Even if the fifty-four-year-old had been deceived – at least he had assumed that he would make a public appearance. Pocher did not violate any legitimate interests, the chamber does not see any degradation. Pocher’s lawyer described the chamber’s assessment as “very gratifying”, Becker’s representative reserved the right to take further steps after examining the judgment, which is not yet final.
Meanwhile, Becker is not the only one taking legal action against Pocher. At the end of October, the influencer Anna Adamyan also announced steps against the comedian. After an advertising post on Instagram, Pocher had accused her of profiting from a miscarriage. As Adamyan reported, she then received numerous insulting messages. “Even if this has almost become everyday life for me, I cannot and do not want to endure insults, slander and hostility of any kind,” she wrote. Pocher, who began his career in 1999 as a presenter at the Viva music channel, has 1.7 million followers on the platform. His lawyers declined to comment on Tuesday’s case.
Pocher will soon have to testify as a witness
Because of his online format “Screen Control”, in which the forty-four-year-old deals with missteps by influencers and likes to call them “frying pans”, the comedian is repeatedly accused of bullying. Pocher rejected that: “Fantastic! A shell player in the pedestrian zone also feels bullied by the police. That says everything on the subject,” he said in an interview with “Playboy” around 2020.
A few weeks ago, Pocher successfully defended himself against a post by the comedian Fat Comedy. He posted a video of an incident in March in which he hit Pocher in the face without warning. He then made fun of it with an animal video. As it became known on Tuesday, the criminal trial for the attack will begin in Dortmund at the end of March 2023.