Sao Paulo: Brazilian forward Neymar Jr. denied accusations early Sunday that he raped a woman in a Paris hotel last month.
The rape allegation, filed in Sao Paulo Friday, was reported in Brazilian news portals such as UOL and GloboEsporte and was confirmed to Efe news by the Secretariat of Public Security of the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo.
The incident allegedly occurred at a hotel at the French capital May 15.
In response to the allegation, Neymar posted a video on his official Instagram account denying the accusation, claiming that he is the victim of a ‘trap’.
“What happened that day was a relation between a man and a woman within four walls, something which happens with all couples. The next day, nothing further happened, we continued exchanging messages”, the Brazilian star said.
Neymar said that what had transpired was ‘the opposite of what is being said’, adding that he was ‘very angry at the moment’.
“I am being accused of rape. It’s a heavy word, something very serious, but that is what is happening right now,” he said. “It took me by surprise. It’s very bad and very sad to hear this because those who know me know my character and integrity, they know that I would never do such a thing.”
The Paris Saint-Germain forward said that he hoped investigators would ‘look at the messages’ that he had shared Saturday evening on his social media channel, which has nearly 120 million followers so that ‘they can see what really happened’.
“It was a trap that I ended up falling into, but this will serve as a lesson going forward”, Neymar said, before adding that “there are people who want to take advantage and extort other people. It’s really sad and painful”.
The player’s father, Neymar da Silva Santos, said Saturday on a television program on Bandeirantes Network that his son was the victim of an extortion attempt by the woman making the allegations.
He admitted Neymar Jr. had sexual relations with the woman but repeatedly claimed that they were consensual in nature.
“They are people who tried to cheat him, but we are prepared for this kind of situation, although we were not expecting it. In reality no crime took place and Neymar is the victim of an extortion attempt. We have all the documentation to prove it,” he said.
The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) is yet to make a statement on the matter.
The woman, whose identity has not been revealed, said in the complaint that she got in touch with Neymar through social media and they began to exchange messages.
She claimed Neymar invited her to Paris and that one of his associates arranged airplane tickets and a place for her to stay.
She says she arrived in Paris May 15 and stayed at the Hotel Sofitel Paris Arc Du Triomphe, where Neymar came to meet her at around 8 p.m. in an apparently intoxicated state.
“They began to talk and caress one another, however at a certain point, Neymar became aggressive and, through violence had sexual relations against the victim’s will,” read the complaint published by UOL and GloboEsporte.
The woman said she was emotionally shaken and was fearful of making a police complaint in another country, and returned to Brazil and came forward to authorities in Sao Paulo.
Neymar participated in a routine training session on Saturday with his national team ahead of the Copa America, which begins June 14. Brazil face Bolivia in the opening game.
The Brazilian soccer star, who has been enduring an indifferent patch of form at club level, was under the care of physiotherapists over the last few days due to a problem in his left knee.
Neymar was stripped off his captaincy after he joined the team a week ago over an incident at the Coupe de France final, where he reportedly hit a fan.