PARIS • Brazil and Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar yesterday denied raping a woman who accused him of sexually assaulting her at a Paris hotel, with his father claiming he was the victim of blackmail.
According to a complaint filed with Sao Paulo police and reported by the GloboEsporte website, the world's most expensive footballer at €222 million (S$341.6 million) has been accused of "using violence to have sex with the victim without her consent".
However, in a seven-minute video posted on his Instagram page, Neymar refuted the "attempted extortion" by showing a long series of racy WhatsApp messages with the woman, including topless photographs of her in bed.
He said in Portuguese: "I am accused of rape, it's a big word, it's very strong, but that is what has happened.
"It surprised me, it's a really ugly thing and a sad thing because anyone who knows me knows what kind of person I am and knows I would never do such a thing.
"These are intimate moments, but it is necessary to make them public to prove that nothing really happened."
The unidentified woman, who lives in Brazil, allegedly met Neymar through Instagram. After exchanging messages, the footballer invited her to visit him in Paris in mid-May.
According to the complaint, he arrived at the five-star Sofitel Paris Arc Du Triomphe hotel "apparently intoxicated" and the two chatted and exchanged "caresses" before "he became aggressive".
His father, Neymar Santos, also categorically denied the accusations in an interview with Brazilian broadcaster Bandeirantes, saying: "This is not true, he has never committed any crime."
According to Neymar Sr, they went on a date, but afterwards he did not want to see the woman again, prompting the accuser to try to extort money from the player and his family.
Claiming that the WhatsApp messages would exonerate the former Barcelona star, he added: "My son can be accused of many things, but I know what kind of man he is... it's clear that this was a trap."
According to multiple reports, the woman was in Paris from May 15 to 17, but waited until last Friday to file the complaint in Brazil as she was "emotionally shaken".
Neymar is currently with his national team preparing for the Copa America, which takes place in Brazil from June 14 to July 7.
Sao Paulo's security secretariat would not provide a copy of the complaint, confirming that while one had been filed, its contents were classified.