Alexander Zverev, the Olympic men’s tennis champion, is currently embroiled in a legal battle following accusations of physically abusing his ex-girlfriend. A court in Germany has issued a penalty order against Zverev, imposing fines amounting to €450,000 (£392,000) for alleged bodily harm inflicted during an altercation in Berlin in May 2020.
The Tiergarten district court in Berlin confirmed the issuance of the order against Zverev on 2 October. The penalty comprises a fine of 90 daily rates of €5,000, culminating in the total amount of €450,000. Despite the serious nature of the allegations, Zverev has vehemently denied the charges and has subsequently lodged an objection against the order.
The Berlin public prosecutor’s office had initiated the penalty order application in July. Under German law, a penalty order is typically employed by the public prosecutor’s office in cases deemed straightforward, with substantial evidence supporting the accusations. Such an order eliminates the need for a trial. However, the defendant retains the right to challenge the penalty order, which can then lead to a public trial.
Given that Zverev, currently ranked as the world’s No. 9 men’s player, has chosen to contest the penalty order, the Tiergarten district court is set to reconvene, hearing both the defendant and plaintiffs before proceeding to a main hearing. The anticipation is that a public trial will be scheduled, and it’s crucial to note that Zverev is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Additionally, Zverev’s former girlfriend has aligned with the Berlin public prosecutor as a co-plaintiff in the case.
In a recent statement, Zverev’s legal team, Schertz Bergmann, confirmed his decision to contest the “scandalous” penalty order. They further emphasized their intention to counter the accusations made by the alleged victim. The statement also highlighted that they possess expert medical evidence that corroborates Zverev’s denials. “The procedure is scandalous, there can be no question of a fair, constitutional procedure. Mr. Zverev will take action against this using all means possible,” the statement read.
The tennis community and fans worldwide await further developments in this case, hoping for a just resolution.