Adam Johnson’s girlfriend will stand by him after the Sunderland midfielder was arrested on Monday on suspicion of having sex with a 15-year-old girl, her family have confirmed.
Johnson was questioned by police yesterday following an allegation that he engaged in sexual activity involving an underage girl, and has been suspended by the Premier League club having been released on bail pending the outcome of the investigation.
His girlfriend, Stacey Flounders, is believed to have given birth to the couples’ daughter just seven weeks ago, and her mother has told the Daily Mirror that Johnson is “100 per cent innocent” and that the family will stand by him during the investigation.
Speaking from the family home, Flounders’ mother said: “They are still very close and are absolutely still together.”
“He is 100 per cent innocent and we will stand by him. He hasn’t been found guilty of anything. He is a great lad and has not done anything wrong. This is a horrible situation.”
Johnson was arrested on Monday after his £1.8m home in Co Durham was raided by police at around 9.15am, before he was reported to have been taken to a local police station for questioning. Police confirmed that a 27-year-old man was taken into custody on “suspicion of sexual activity with a girl under 16”, before the BBC named Johnson as the suspect.
A police spokesman said: “A 27-year-old man was arrested earlier today on suspicion of sexual activity with a girl under 16. He remains in police custody and is helping officers with their inquiries.”
A loaded gun was also reportedly found at the six-bedroom property. It is thought that the weapon was legally held.
Johnson has played 28 times this season for Sunderland The club released a statement yesterday confirming that Johnson had been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.
“Sunderland AFC has confirmed that Adam Johnson has been suspended from the club, pending the outcome of a police investigation,” the statement said. “No further comment will be made at the present time.”
Johnson, who also spent time with Manchester City and Middlesbrough having come through City’s academy, has 12 England caps to his name, although he has not appeared for Roy Hodgson’s side since the match against Italy in August 2012 shortly after the European Championships campaign.
He has scored 17 goals for the Black Cats since arriving from City three years ago, but has been described as inconsistent as he struggles to display his best on a regular basis. Johnson featured in Sunderland’s last game, the 2-0 defeat to Manchester United on Saturday, where he was substituted by manager Gus Poyet after 81 minutes.