Daniel Sturridge has taken to social media to explain his side of the story after being ordered to pay $30,000 (£22,400) to a man who says he found his lost dog.
The 32-year-old, who currently plies his trade in Australia with Perth Glory, offered a reward to find his Pomeranian named Lucci after the dog was stolen from a Los Angeles house in July 2019.
In a video posted on social media at the time, a distressed Sturridge told his followers: “Listen, whoever knows who broke into my crib, I’ll pay you anything. I’m dead serious. I wanna know who took my s***. I wanna know what’s [happened].
“I wanna know why they’ve [taken] my dog. I wanna know why they’ve [taken] bags from upstairs.
“How can you break into a house in LA and take someone’s dog? Are you crazy? You’ve come into a house to take a dog?
“Yo, someone please find my dog. I’ll pay anything, I’m dead serious. I want my dog back, man.”
A rapper known as Killa Fame – real name Foster Washington – claims he reunited Sturridge with his pet, Lucci, but was not paid.
Sturridge ordered to pay $30,000 for lost dog
A Los Angeles court has now ruled in favour of the musician. Judge Curtis Kin has ordered that the former England international must pay Mr Washington $30,000 in damages and costs of $85.
“Hopefully he pays up and doesn’t try to appeal it,” the rapper is quoted as saying by BBC News.
“I’m excited about it, I’ve been fighting this case for over a year, I can’t believe it’s over. When we found the dog I thought my life was going to be better.”
Sturridge gives his version of events on social media
However, Sturridge claims that a reward *was* paid to a young boy who found his dog.
“Just to let you know the truth on xmas!” Sturridge tweeted. “I met a young boy who found my dog and paid him a reward which he was delighted with as was I to get my dog back because he was stolen. I took photos with him and we have videos and audio of everything that happened when Lucci was returned.”
He added: “On Christmas Day to have to relive the events of a robbery is shameful. Other people are trying to benefit for their own personal gain. Thank you to the young boy once again. This was 2 1/2 years ago and a crazy 24hrs. I’m very grateful lucci is back with our family. Love to all.”