June 3 – Mired in controversy off the field far more often in recent months than scoring goals on it, Brazilian star Neymar is back in the news for all the wrong reasons, denying allegations by an unnamed woman that he drunkenly assaulted her at a top Paris hotel.
Reports said Neymar had even published texts and photos which he said proved he was set up, claiming he was the victim of attempted extortion.
Police reports are said to lay out the accusations, the latest in a series of high-profile incidents concerning the Paris St Germain superstar and a further blow to his reputation.
Neymar is reported to have posted a long video on his Instagram page, in which he denied all the accusations against him deliberately sharing WhatsApp messages with the alleged victim, including explicit photos she allegedly sent him.
“I’m being accused of rape,” he says in the video in Portuguese. “Yes, it is a heavy word, a very strong thing. I’m very upset at this moment.”
“Whoever knows me, knows of my character and my nature, and knows that I would never do a thing like that … What happened is exactly the opposite of what they’re saying.”
In the video, an emotional Neymar added that his relationship with the accuser was one “between a man and woman, within four walls, something that happens with every couple,” but also that he had been set up. “It was a trap, and I ended up falling for it.”
Neymar’s representative, NR Sports, issued a statement saying the player “was a victim of attempted extortion, practiced by a lawyer from the city of Sao Paulo, who, according to his version, represented the interests of the alleged victim.”
“Faced with this unfortunate, illegal and outrageous event, we completely repudiate the unjust accusations and, above all, the exposure in the press of an extremely negative situation. All evidence of attempted extortion and non-rape shall be submitted to police in a timely manner.”
According to the police report, the unnamed woman filed a complaint filed with police in the Brazilian city of Sau Paulo on Friday alleging that she met Neymar on social media and that he suggested they meet in person in Paris.
The woman apparently told police that Neymar arrived at the hotel that night “apparently drunk,” and that they talked and “caressed.”
“However, at some point, Neymar became aggressive, and through violence, practiced sexual intercourse against the will of the victim,” the police report says.
The woman told police she returned home to Brazil two days later without having informed French police about the alleged rape because she was “emotionally shaken and scared of registering the facts in another country,” the report said according to several media organisations.
Neymar, currently in Brazil training with the national soccer team ahead of this month’s Copa America, became the world’s most expensive player ever when he left Barcelona for Paris St Germain for €222 million in 2017.
He has been embroiled in a series of controversies since then, as well as spending considerable time injured, and earlier this month was banned for three matches by French soccer authorities for striking a fan following PSG’s French Cup final upset defeat to Rennes.
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