Daniel Sturridge breaks his silence after an arrest warrant is issued to the ex-Liverpool star… slamming the ‘false claim’ he owes a $30,000 reward to a man who found his dog in 2019
- A warrant was issued after Sturridge failed to appear in court in Los Angeles
- The former Liverpool striker has insisted he was unaware of the court hearing
- Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off!’
Former Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge claims he was ‘unaware’ of a hearing in California, after a warrant was issued for his arrest for failing to appear in court.
Mail Sport revealed a warrant had been issued for Sturridge’s arrest in connection with a claim he owes to a man who says he found his dog.
Sturridge, 34, publicly offered a reward for the safe return of his pet Pomeranian in July 2019 after revealing it had been stolen from his house in LA.
Foster Washington, an American rapper known as Killa Fame, took credit for reuniting Sturridge with his dog Lucci, but said he did not receive the promised payment, leading him to launch a civil lawsuit.
In December 2021, an LA court ordered Sturridge to pay Washington $30,000 (£24,400) following a default judgment, which came after the ex-Liverpool star did not respond to the complaint.
Daniel Sturridge said he has instructed lawyers in California to deal with the ‘speculative claim’
The former Liverpool striker offered a $30,000 reward for the safe return of Lucci after his dog was snatched at his home in LA back in 2019
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Sturridge was called back to court last month for a ‘debtor’s exam’, where he was meant to answer questions on his finances.
He did not attend and court documents seen by Mail Sport show he has now been served a bench warrant – a summons issued by a judge to arrest a defendant and bring them before court. A new hearing has been set for November 30.
Sturridge has now addressed the claims, insisting he had only just been made aware of the court hearing. The former England claimed he had already paid a young boy who found his dog.
Sturridge said he has instructed lawyers to deal with the matter, hitting out at the ‘speculative claim’.
‘The news yesterday was the first time my family and I heard that someone is continuing to try to get money from me, following the theft of my family’s dog, Lucci, which happened 4 years ago,’ Sturridge wrote on social media.
‘The truth is, I personally paid a reward to the young boy who found him. He was delighted with the reward, as were my family and I to get Lucci home. The person seeking payment is not due any money, I already paid the young boy who found Lucci.
‘I was unaware of the court hearing even taking place. The legal paperwork was sent to the Air Bnb property which we had left within 24 hours of the burglary. Therefore, I have not had the opportunity to properly represent myself in relation to these false claims.
‘With that being said, I have now instructed California lawyers to deal with matters on my behalf. I am confident that this will be resolved in my favour quickly and put an end to the speculative claim for good.’
An American rapper responded to the post and uploaded several images of the dog being held in a car seat
Foster Washington claimed Sturridge ‘thought he was above the law’ and said his legal challenge was ‘a matter of principle’
The former Liverpool striker insists he paid a young boy for the return of Lucci back in 2019
Sturridge had previously posted about the dispute on X, formerly Twitter, following the initial court ruling in December 2021.
He wrote: ‘Just to let you know the truth at Christmas. 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.
‘Other people are trying to benefit for their own personal gain. Thank you to the young boy once again. I’m very grateful Lucci is back with our family.’
Washington, who claims he has spent more than $10,000 on legal fees, told Mail Sport. ‘For me, it’s a point of principle. He promised me the money. It’s a substantial amount of money that could change my family’s life.
‘He thinks he is above the law. He thinks because he’s rich he doesn’t have to respond to what’s going on. That’s why I had to have the judge issue a warrant so he has to pay the money.’
Sturridge was announced as a Sky Sports pundit but has not appeared since the opening weekend of the season
Thomas Scully, Washington’s lawyer, added: ‘A lot of people just decide to ignore lawsuits for whatever reason and a lot of times they get away with it because they don’t have any money.
‘But it doesn’t seem that Daniel Sturridge should get away with it. He has the money to pay and he has the money to hire a lawyer. He just doesn’t feel like it.’
Sturridge’s last professional match was for Perth Glory in the Australian A-League in April 2022, although he has never declared he has retired.
Sky Sports announced him as a new pundit at the start of the Premier League season and he made an instant impression on his debut.
Sturridge, however, has not appeared since the opening weekend in August.
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