The dog walker who was shot while looking after Lady Gaga’s beloved French bulldogs has defended the singer and said she has “helped me so much”.
Ryan Fischer was almost killed in a robbery in Hollywood. He tried to stop the pop star’s dogs from being taken in February.
Two of the animals – named Gustav and Koji – were snatched while a third, called Miss Asia, escaped.
The stolen animals were returned to police after Lady Gaga, 35, offered a 500,000 dollar (£364,000) reward.
Five people are charged in the case — three men and two alleged accomplices — and all have pleaded not guilty.
Fischer appeared on US TV for his first televised interview. Eyebrows had been raised after he launched an online fundraising drive, saying he had run out of savings.
Fischer defended Lady Gaga during his interview with Gayle King for CBS Mornings.
“She’s helped me so much. She’s been a friend for me,” he said. “After I was attacked, my family was flown out and she had trauma therapists flown to me and I stayed at her house for months while friends comforted me and security was around me.”
Fischer said he had had part of his lung removed after being shot once during the incident.
Reliving the night he was almost killed, Fischer said: “I was scared, I was in pain. I had a feeling, when they came up, pulled the gun on me that I was going to end up being shot, because in my mind I was like, ‘There’s no way that I’m not going to fight for these dogs’.”
He said he would have been “very surprised” if the thieves knew who the dogs belonged to.
“I think they just saw a guy with three French bulldogs,” he said.
French bulldogs are highly sought by criminals for their sell-on value on the black market.