herald

Saturday 24 August 2019

'Rape claim is just a set-up', says Neymar

Neymar denies the allegation
Neymar denies the allegation

Soccer star Neymar has denied claims he raped a woman at a Paris hotel and says he is the victim of a trap.

The Paris St Germain player (27) said he was being targeted in an extortion attempt by a lawyer claiming to represent the woman.

His alleged victim claimed the Brazilian's assistant sent her plane tickets to Paris.

She claimed the star drunkenly attacked her after they talked and "caressed".

After arriving back in Sao Paulo, she claimed "Neymar became aggressive and through violence practised sexual intercourse" against her will.

Unjust

The claim is the latest blow for the Brazilian, who last month was stripped of captaincy of the national team.

His management said: "A few days ago he was the victim of an attempted extortion, practised by a lawyer who said he represented the interests of the alleged victim.

"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 will be submitted to the police in a timely manner."

The woman told police she returned home to Brazil two days later without telling French officers about the alleged attack because she was "emotionally shaken and afraid to register the facts in another country".

Neymar's father, Neymar Snr, told TV the accusations were a trap and that his son would publish social-media conversations with his accuser if necessary.

Last month, Neymar was banned for three matches for hitting a fan.

He was also reportedly involved in a dressing room fracas with his team-mates.

Also last month, the country's football federation replaced him as captain with his clubmate Dani Alves.

The player is currently in Brazil, training with the national team ahead of this month's Copa America.

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