West Ham defender Kurt Zouma breaks silence as he says ‘sorry’ for cat abuse scandal

West Ham defender Kurt Zouma has made an apology after he avoided jail after pleading guilty to kicking and slapping his pet.

In his first interview since he avoided jail following emergence of the shocking footage, the 28-year-old has expressed his regret over the incident and opened up the personal torment he faced following the video in February, the Mirror reports.

The France international was sentenced to 180 hours of unpaid community work, ordered to pay costs of £8,887 and banned from owning cats for five years after pleading guilty to abusing the cat.

READ NEXT: Eddie Howe brilliant response after Man City boss Pep Guardiola calls Newcastle a ‘contender’

“It’s been a difficult spell for me and my family. Obviously I have done something very bad and I apologise again for what I’ve done,” the Frenchman told West Ham’s club media. “I know it was very tough for people to watch and to see that, and obviously I feel very, very sorry.”

Zouma received scathing criticism for his behaviour which was described by a judge as “disgraceful and reprehensible.” The ex- Chelsea, Everton and Stoke City centre-back was fined the maximum amount by his current club, believed to be £250,000 – two weeks’ worth of his lucrative wages – and had his two cats seized by the RSPCA.

West Ham were also subject to intense backlash after refusing to suspend Zouma, as manager David Moyes controversially selected him to start a Premier League match less than 24 hours after the distressing footage emerged on February 14. Vitality, the club’s official wellness partner, suspended its sponsorship with immediate effect, stating it was “hugely disappointed” with the decision.

Sentenced in June after finishing the season with West Ham, Zouma has now thanked a host of people for their support and insists that he’s learned from the incident which still garners him jeers from opposition supporters on a weekly basis.

“I have great remorse about it and now I’m trying to move on with my family and looking ahead,” the former France international affirmed. “I learned from it, that’s the most important thing, I would say. Obviously, I had support from many, many people around me who helped me stay focused on football and I try to stay happy.

“The club has been unbelievable with me, the support that I received from my teammates, from the staff, and everyone at the club, and even from the fans, have been unreal, and they helped me stay focused on the game, to try to do my best on the pitch all the time and, obviously, I can’t thank them enough for what they’ve done. This club is like my family.”

Zouma joined West Ham from Chelsea on a permanent basis last August. Having enjoyed loan spells with Everton and Stoke following his move to west London from French side St Etienne in 2014, the Irons stumped up £29.8million to bring him across the capital. He’s since made 45 appearances and scored two goals, helping West Ham reach the Europa League semi-finals last season.

Read next:


Recommended For You