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19 Mar 2018 11:58
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby League

    Lodge: I'm not trying to avoid my victims

    Controversial Brisbane prop Matt Lodge says he's not trying to avoid paying back the victims of his 2015 New York City rampage.

    - article from

    Matt Lodge has revealed he found out about his $1.6 million damages bill after reading about it in the media and denied he was trying to shirk his victims.

    Just a day out from making his NRL return, Lodge broke his silence during an interview with Fox Sports' League Life on Wednesday when he defended the Broncos' and NRL's decision to hand him a career lifeline.

    Lodge has polarised opinions since being allowed to return to the game in the wake of his 2015 New York rampage in which he terrorised two young women and a family including a nine-year-old boy.

    After pleading guilty to a misdemeanour reckless assault charge, he was sued by his victims in a US Civil Court.

    Joseph Cartright and Ruth Fowler have accused Lodge of failing to attempt to pay back the debt owed to him, a claim he denies.

    Lodge said he had written to the pair's lawyers on several occasions attempting to negotiate a payment plan.

    The 22-year-old did not contest the civil case because he was already several hundred thousand dollars in debt after defending his criminal trial and could not afford a lawyer to represent him.

    "I knew as much as everyone else and found out about the $1.6 million figure through the papers," Lodge told League Life.

    "I tried to correspond with their lawyers, I've got emails to show that, to say I'm unrepresented and I'm trying to find out what's going on.

    "It didn't come to anything and I found out about the $1.6 million figure through the newspaper. I wasn't in court to contest any of it or have my say in things."

    Lodge said his life had turned around since he woke up chained to a prison bed the day after the infamous incident.

    He said he had participated in counselling and rehabilitation and wished he had gone through the process earlier to address his issues.

    "I've learnt I need to address issues whether it's pressure from the game or any external things, they need to be addressed rather than going out and being reckless and trying to forget about them or avoid the problem," Lodge said.


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