Jérôme Boateng and his then partner had chosen a dreamlike setting for their heated argument in 2018: white beach, palm trees, private pool. There was no doubt on either side that there was an escalation. But the versions were different. A good three years later, the setting was different: Boateng was on trial on Thursday. The soccer world champion from 2014, world-class central defender and idol made it from paradise before the Munich district court.
Prosecutors accused the 33-year-old, who recently signed with Olympique Lyon, of violently attacking a former partner in July 2018 on a family vacation in the Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean. According to the indictment, he beat her, punched her, bit her in the head, threw her on the floor and insulted her violently. The public prosecutor’s office demanded a suspended sentence of one and a half years – and a monetary requirement of 1.5 million euros.
The court eventually convicted the soccer player of willful assault. And imposed a fine of 60 daily rates of 30,000 euros each – 1.8 million euros. In its judgment, the court only assumed “a punch” in the face. Outwardly, Boateng took the decision calmly. The verdict is not yet legally binding.
“It was a good mood,” said Boateng
“He grabbed my eye with his thumb,” Boateng’s ex-girlfriend said in court. “He tore my hair, then bit my head.” He spat on her. She then fell on her knees before he “punched her in the kidney” so hard that she could no longer breathe. In addition, according to information from public prosecutor Stefanie Eckert, he is said to have thrown a glass lantern and a cooler bag at her “in full force”.
Boateng described the incident in court differently: his former partner had become aggressive and insulting, injured his lip in an argument and hit him. When he tried to push her away, she fell. He didn’t throw a lantern at her either, but a pillow against a table – and the lantern fell to the floor.
The vacation had been very nice and peaceful until then. “It was a good mood,” he said – until an argument broke out while playing cards in the evening because his partner at the time and her girlfriend accused him of cheating. Shortly afterwards, the mood escalated.
The dispute was about loyalty, about other, former partners. “Jealousy film,” says the partner at some point in her statement. Her and Boateng’s testimony are bursting with strong expressions that are said to have been used on July 19 in the vacation paradise. Between outbursts of anger, Boateng ran back and forth in his bungalow, she says – “like a tiger”.
The butler swept up the broken pieces
Boateng said that at that time – as often before – they argued about the question of how to organize family life. Boateng wanted to move from Bayern to Paris that summer.
According to their information, the two have had an “on-off relationship” since 2007, they got engaged temporarily in 2014, and since 2015 they have been arguing in front of the family court about the right to determine the residence of their children. “Our relationship has always been turbulent,” said the 31-year-old, speaking of a “very toxic” connection. The soccer star says the ex-girlfriend wants to use the complaint to get better chances in the family court – an accusation that the woman rejects.
Back to the events on vacation: The next day, the two would have reconciled, said Boateng. “We had spoken to each other, made up, the children were happy, danced.” His girlfriend at the time was “in a good mood”. Videos shown in court show her dancing exuberantly around a campfire on the beach. She says she was very drunk and didn’t want to show anything.
An expert supported the descriptions of the alleged victim: “The findings that were documented here can largely be reconciled with the description of the events of the accused,” said the doctor before the district court.
The trial against the former Bayern star and 2014 world champion began amid great media hype. Boateng appeared in the courtroom in a dark blue suit and white shirt.
The luxury pavilions that Boateng and his tour group lived in had a very special extra, as the footballer describes: There was a butler. That night he also swept up the broken pieces of the lantern and glasses. “I then said – in English: Sorry for the mess,” says Boateng: Sorry for the chaos.