Former world number one tennis player Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, who won 14 Grand Slam titles in her career, is now broke and on trial for fraud.
The former Spanish tennis star is one of the defendants, along with her former husband Josep Santacana, in a a fraud trial that began on Tuesday.
Sanchez Vicario, 51, faces up to four years in prison and millions of dollars in compensation if convicted.
She and Santacana, who divorced in 2019, stand accused by prosecutors of hiding assets to avoid paying a $8.14 million debt to Banque de Luxembourg.
“I did what he told me to do, because I am a tennis player, I have no knowledge of assets or companies or anything. I trusted my husband,” Sanchez Vicario told the court on Tuesday, Yahoo! reports.
She also testified that she has already paid back around $2.04 million to the bank and had committed to paying the bank half of her income.
In 2012, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario revealed in her memoir, Arantxa Vamos! Memoirs of a struggle, a life and a woman, that she blames her parents for losing around $60 million of her career earnings.
Sanchez-Vicario’s mother denied the accusations in a open letter to Spanish media, writing, “We never took advantage of Arantxa and under no circumstances is she broke.”
Santacana claims that the money owed to the bank is still hidden in accounts in Switzerland owned by Sanchez-Vicario.
This past Saturday, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario told El Pais, “I was in love. I trusted my ex-husband and I have been immersed in this situation.”
Vicario, who won the French Open three times and US Open once in singles, as well as six Grand Slam titles in women’s doubles and four in mixed doubles, currently lives with her children in a rental apartment in Miami.
“I give private tennis classes and sometimes hire me to help organize tournaments, or as a commenter,” she said. “Half of what comes in goes directly to the Bank of Luxembourg’s coffers to wipe out debt.”
She added, “With what I’ve won, not being able to live off tennis is a very hard blow that I didn’t expect. My mistake, as I said other times, was to fall in love.”