Former Manchester City footballer Jerome Boateng has been fined £1.5 million (1.8 million euros) by a court in Munich after being found guilty of biting and punching his ex-girlfriend.
The German football star, 33, was convicted of assaulting his ex-fiancée Sherin Senler during a Caribbean holiday three years ago but avoided a potential five-year jail term.
Ms Senler, who is the mother of his twin daughters, told the court on Thursday that Boateng bit her and spat blood in her face and punched her in the kidney so hard she could not breathe.
Boateng had earlier denied all the allegations made against him as he testified for almost two hours on Thursday. The footballer claimed that he was the one who was attacked, telling the court that his Ms Senler had become aggressive and insulting towards him, and hit him – injuring his lip.
Boateng was convicted of causing dangerous bodily harm to Senler and insulting her in an incident in 2018 while they were on holiday in the Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean.
He was then handed the £1.5 million fine, the highest possible financial damages that could be imposed by the Munich District Court.
After judge Kai Dingerdissen gave his verdict, Boateng hurried out of the courtroom, surrounded by bodyguards and drove off in a black SUV, which was pursued by photographers.
Prosecutor Stefanie Eckert had called for a suspended 18-month prison sentence and a fine of £1.2 million (1.5 million euros) for what she described as a ‘toxic relationship’.
Wearing a navy suit in the dock alongside his lawyer Kai Walden, the former Manchester City and Bayern Munich defender appeared in court to face the allegations levelled against him earlier on Thursday.
Last year German newspaper Bild reported that Boateng, who now plays in France for Lyon, is alleged have ‘thrown a small glass candle holder’ at Senler while away on holiday.
His representatives have consistently maintained that the accusations are based on unproven claims from a third party.
Former Manchester City footballer Jerome Boateng has been fined £1.5 million (1.8 million euros) by a court in Munich after being found guilty of biting and punching his ex-girlfriend
Former Man City defender Jerome Boateng appeared in court in Munich on Thursday
According to German newspaper Bild, Boateng told the court that when Ms Senler became aggressive towards him, he pushed her away from her, causing her to fall.
He maintained that he did not throw a lantern at her, but rather a pillow against the table. This caused the lantern to fall, he said.
The footballer said the holiday was ‘very nice’ and ‘peaceful’, and that everyone had been in a ‘good mood’ until an argument broke out over a card game.
His girlfriend and one of her friends had accused him of cheating while playing cards, Boateng told the court, with the argument escalating to the point where they were arguing about their lives.
Boateng said he wanted to move from his then-club FC Bayern Munich to Paris that summer. The argument was also about loyalty in their relationship, he said.
The following day, he said the pair returned to getting along again, saying Ms Senler seemed to be in a good mood, and that the broken lantern had been cleaned up by a member of staff. ‘I then said – in English: Sorry for the mess,’ he told the court.
Boateng (far right) attended the court trial alongside his lawyer Kai Walden (second right)
But Ms Senler’ testimony – also today – painted a different picture. ‘He grabbed my eye with his thumb,’ she said. ‘He tore my hair, then bit me in the head. (…) He opened his lip, pulled my head back and spat blood on my face. ‘
She said she then fell to her knees, at which point he punched her in the kidneys, she claimed – so hard that she couldn’t breathe.
‘Such assaults were the order of the day. We had a turbulent, toxic relationship,’ she told the court, adding that she reported him, ‘because otherwise it would never have stopped.’
Before the trial began, Boateng’s lawyer Kai Walden told Ms Senler that she had no evidence to back up her accusations, and attempted to stop the legal proceedings.
Boateng (left) is in court in Munich, Germany, over an alleged assault against his former fiancée Sherin Senler (right) back in 2018. Senler and Boateng have two children together
The public prosecutor’s office No 1 of Munich has been investigating the incident for three years and while charges were brought before a district court on February 11 in 2019, it has taken until today to get the trial to court due to delays.
Boateng and his former partner were a couple for 10 years and have two children together.
Video evidence of the alleged assault was reported to have been viewed by the District Court but proceedings slowed down following the coronavirus outbreak in Europe back in March.
Boateng and Senler began dating in 2007 but have had a stormy relationship which has seen them separate on numerous occasions.
Senler began dating Boateng in 2007 but the pair endured a rocky relationship together
Boateng and Senler have had two children together – twin daughters named Soley and Lamia
After rekindling their relationship, the pair got engaged before going on to separate again
The pair’s break up in 2011 – the same year twins Soley and Lamia were born – was so acrimonious that they were said to have only communicated through their lawyers.
Boateng and Senler, a former fashion student, rekindled their love in 2013 and got engaged the following year but are understood to have split again following the alleged assault in 2018.
The verdict in Munich is the latest tumultuous chapter in a turbulent year for Boateng.
His ex-girlfriend, influencer and model Kasia Lenhardt, was found dead having committed suicide in a Berlin flat in February while he was away playing for Bayern at the Club World Cup in Qatar.
He was immediately given permission to fly home after news of her death.
The 25-year-old took her life six days after Boateng finished their relationship, then gave details of the break-up during a frank interview with top German daily Bild.
Lenhardt – who had the footballer’s name tattooed on her ribcage – branded her ex ‘the devil’ and vowed to ‘speak up’ and ‘fight back’ once she had recovered from the break-up.
Just hours before she was found dead, Lenhardt had posted to Instagram talking about a ‘new chapter’ in her life.
It has been a turbulent year for Boateng (left) given his last girlfriend Kasia Lenhardt, 25, was found dead in Berlin in February just a week after breaking up with the German defender
After making 363 appearances for Bayern, winning nine Bundesliga and two Champions League titles, Boateng’s contract was not extended when it expired in June before he was snapped up last week by Lyon.
He was a key part of the Germany squad which won a fourth World Cup crown in Brazil, but has not played for his country since being axed by former German coach Joachim Low in March 2019.
However, Boateng still hopes to add to his 73 international appearances under Low’s successor Hansi Flick, his former coach at Bayern Munich, who masterminded the Bavarian giants claiming a treble of titles in 2019-20.
The son of a German mother and Ghanaian father, he found himself at the centre of a debate over integration when he was attacked for his skin colour by the leader of Germany’s far-right party in 2016.
Germany’s leader Angela Merkel got involved and invited Boateng to an event at the chancellery, where she made a point of telling Boateng’s father, who was also there, ‘You have a great son, you can be proud’.
It is reported that a verdict in the alleged assault case could be made in the case as early as Thursday. The trial continues.