Kurt Zouma speaks publicly for first time since kicking and slapping cat
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Kurt Zouma has spoken publicly for the first time since being sentenced for abusing a cat.
The 27-year-old West Ham defender pleaded guilty to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a cat, after blaming the family pet for damaging a chair.
Disturbing footage that was originally posted on Snapchat shows Zouma volleying the Bengal cat across his kitchen. He also threw a pair of shoes at the animal and slapped its head.
Prosecutor Hazel Stevens told the court Zouma could be heard saying, “I swear I’ll kill it, I swear I’ll kill it" in the clip.
Zouma admitted to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal on 6 February and at a hearing at Thames Magistrates’ Court, he was banned from keeping cats for five years.
The former Chelsea defender was also ordered to carry out 180 hours of community service as district Judge Susan Holdham described the actions as 'disgraceful and reprehensible'.
Nine months after the shocking incident took place and Zouma has given his first TV interview with Sky Sports.
Kurt Zouma speaking publicly for the first time about the cat incident pic.twitter.com/0CpEdmxKRB— Joe (@whujoe) November 4, 2022
He said: "It's been a difficult spell for me and my family. Obviously I have done something very bad and I apologise for what I have done.
"I know it was very tough for people to watch and see that and obviously I feel very, very sorry and I have great remorse about it. Now I am trying to move on with my family and I'm looking ahead.
"I learnt from it, that is the most important thing. Obviously I have support from many people who helped me stay focused on football and obviously the club has been unbelievable with me.
"The support that I receive from my team-mates from the staff, everyone at the club and even from the fans, it's been unreal.
"They helped me stay focused on the game, trying to do my best on the pitch all the time. Obviously I can't thank them enough for what they have done. This club is like my family."
Shortly after the incident occured in February, the RSPCA confirmed Zouma's two cats had been taken off him.
"We'd like to reassure people that we're investigating and the cats are safe and in our care," they wrote on Twitter.
"We have been dealing with this since before the clip went viral online and we need to follow the proper legal process and not discuss due to UK GDPR laws."