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The BBC's Stuart McDill
"Only Boris was present for the final act of the drama"
 real 56k

Monday, 15 January, 2001, 12:25 GMT
Becker reaches divorce deal
Boris Becker and wife Barbara
News of the Beckers' separation stunned Germany
A German court has granted tennis star Boris Becker a divorce from his estranged wife, Barbara, ending a bitter battle over cash and custody of their two children.

The court's announcement formalises an out-of-court settlement, which the Beckers reached at the weekend.

Both parties were glad that it was an expeditious process

Becker lawyer Donald Hayden
Under the settlement, Mrs Becker will get custody of the children, Noah and Elias, and is expected to continue living with them at their luxury holiday home on Miami's Fischer Island.

A cash settlement for an undisclosed amount has also been reached, which the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag said amounted to nearly $14.5m.

Its sister paper Bild reported on Monday that Mr Becker would also pay maintenance for the children and would finance the security of the entire family.

"They reached a global settlement and they resolved all issues," Mr Kohlman said.

Shock separation

The couple had appeared to have a happy marriage, and the suddenness of their split has added to public and media interest.

Mr Becker announced in December that the marriage had broken down after seven years, and his wife left for the US shortly afterwards.

The out-of-court settlement ends the prospect of a messy, public process. Mrs Becker had won the right to have their battle heard in an open court in the US. Mr Becker is said to have not wanted the extent of his fortune revealed.

"Both parties were glad that it was an expeditious process," said a member of Mr Becker's legal team, Donald Hayden.

The deal came after Mr Becker's lawyers said he wanted the two boys returned to Germany under international laws designed to counter cross-border kidnappings.

His wife's lawyers dismissed any suggestion of kidnap as ludicrous.

Mr Becker is now reportedly facing a paternity suit brought by London-based Russian model Angela Ermakova.

He denies that he is the father of her 10-month-old daughter.

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See also:

09 Jan 01 | Europe
Germany gripped by Becker case
04 Jan 01 | Americas
Judge rejects Becker trial plea
06 Dec 00 | Tennis
Becker loses love game
11 Jan 01 | Europe
Becker 'faces paternity suit'
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