NEWS
15/06/2018 16:27 BST

Boris Becker’s Shot At Diplomatic Immunity Could Be Inspired By These Bizarre Examples

He’s not the only celebrity to be honoured with dubious international titles.

Boris Becker is attempting to wangle his way out of bankruptcy proceedings by claiming diplomatic immunity, citing his role as a sports ambassador in the Central African Republic.

It’s a shrewd move: diplomatic immunity as codified in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations can help you get away with shooting someone, never mind financial difficulties. 

So how does the average Joe become an ambassador? Well, it’s not actually that simple.

Becker was appointed as ambassador to the European Union on sporting, cultural and humanitarian affairs to CAR in April. 

This means the former tennis champion cannot be subjected to any legal proceedings without the consent of Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and his counterpart in the Central African Republic, his lawyers Sylvester Amiel Lewin and Horne said.

But if sport isn’t your area of expertise there might be some other routes open to you.

The Steven Seagal Route

Sputnik Photo Agency / Reuters
'No, I love you more.'

Steven Seagal’s cosying up to Vladimir Putin almost paid off in 2013 when the Russian President tried to convince Barack Obama to make the actor Russia’s “honorary consul” in two US states.

The Michigan-born action-movie star became a Russian citizen last year and is full of praise for his new head of state.

When asked about his views on whether the Russian government attempted to influence the result of the US election, he dismissed “all the propaganda flying particularly from America about Russia” and the idea that Putin - “one of the great world leaders” - had a hand it it all. 

A US official said of the “honorary consul” proposal: “Our reaction was, ‘You’ve got to be kidding’.”

The Gérard Depardieu Route

RIA Novosti / Reuters
Gerard Depardieu and his massive hand.

Another Putin-cosier, French actor Gérard Dépardieu, was granted Russian citizenship in 2013 because the Russian President “immediately liked my hooligan side”.

In the same year he was also appointed a cultural ambassador for Montenegro because he “saw a wonderful country with great potential”.

Presumably the title was based on his long acting career but in recent years he’s been known more for his loutish behaviour, having punched a motorist, urinated in a bottle on an EasyJet flight and fallen off his scooter after one too many sherries - so you could try both and see how it works out.

The Shirley Temple Route

PA Images via Getty Images

Look, it’s fast becoming clear that unless you’ve won Wimbledon, had an illustrious acting career or are in fact already a diplomat, there’s not much change of you becoming one.

Shirley Temple started early too, beginning her acting career at the age of just three. Nearly 40 years later and with a string of hit films, TV shows and even a range of dolls, she was rewarded with being named Ambassador to Ghana.

LESSONS LEARNED

1) You’re not going to be a diplomat

2) Avoid bankruptcy