Andrea Dossena has slammed the treatment he and his family received following an incident at Harrods last month.
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The former Liverpool defender, who was with his wife and young son at the time, was arrested and held at a police station after being found carrying a pack of dried beef and a jar of honey in their bag.
Dossena, now with Leyton Orient, was released without charge and is now planning to take legal action over the damage done to his public image and reputation.
Speaking about the incident at the London store, he said: “When we got to the checkout and paid, I didn’t notice that there was also a pack of dried beef and a jar of honey in our bag. I don’t know how it happened, I’ve no idea.
As the Liverpool Echo reports, police were called, who then handcuffed him and his wife. “[It was] as you would do with a terrorist,” he added.
“I was obviously in disbelief, not only because of that gesture but because I didn’t know what was going on – I hadn’t realised the mistake we’d made.
“They asked to see our documents that prove our status as residents of London, and obviously I didn’t have them with me – I’d left them at home. So then they took us to the police station, where they held us until half past ten at night, despite the needs of a two-and-half-year-old child. It’s absurd to treat a child this way.
“Two days later the police confirmed I had acted in good faith and the case was closed.”
Asked about his future plans, he admitted: “[It is] to protect my image and my family. It’s all water under the bridge now, but when I stop to think I feel the media circus was completely unfair.
“There was no privacy, no respect. I found myself in the headlines – Dossena the thief. Like I’m going to steal a Rolex.”
The 33-year-old joined Liverpool from Udinese in 2008, making just 18 Premier League appearances before leaving for Napoli two years later.
He’s since played for both Palermo and Sunderland, but will arguably be best remembered for his short-lived spell on Merseyside, where he scored in the wins over both Real Madrid and Manchester United.