Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar has denied accusations of raping a woman in France, claiming to be the victim of extortion.
But days after sharing a video on Instagram on Saturday night showing what he says were “intimate” messages exchanged between him and the alleged victim, the post has been removed from the social media platform.
The video is now itself the subject of a police investigation, according to ESPN Brazil, who explain that Neymar may have broken Brazilian laws against publishing “by any means — including mass communication or computer or telecommunication — photograph, visual or other audiovisual record containing a scene of rape or of vulnerable [people] or that makes an apology or induces its practice, or, without the victim’s consent, sex scene, nudity or pornography.”
The ESPN report also carries a translation of comments made by Neymar’s father, Neymar Sr, to Brazilian TV. “Neymar had to defend himself quickly,” he said, before stating that it was Instagram who took down the video, not Neymar.
“We did not have a choice [but to post the video]. I’d rather have an internet crime as opposed to a crime of rape. It was Instagram that removed it [the post]. By their own rules, it was fine. He did not reveal her image or her name. He needed to defend himself in a speedy manner. It is better to be truthful and show what happened. We knew about the blackmail, but not about their nerve of filing a BO [police report] on top of a situation such as this.”
According to the BBC, a police report filed in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on May 31, details how the woman – who cannot be named for legal reasons – says the alleged incident took place on May 15 at a hotel in Paris.
The report claims the woman, a Brazilian, met Neymar through Instagram and the player provided her with a plane ticket to travel to Paris and booked her a room at a hotel.
When Neymar, 27, arrived later at the hotel on May 15, the PSG star is claimed to have been “apparently drunk” before becoming “aggressive, and through violence, engaged in sexual intercourse against the will of the victim”, as reported in the police document.
Neymar admits to talking to the woman, but the Brazilian has strongly denied the allegations of sexual assault and announced his intentions “prove that nothing really happened” on Saturday.
In the now-deleted Instagram post, recorded in Portuguese and captioned ‘Due to extortion, I’m being forced to expose my life and my family..’, Neymar said: “I’m very upset but from now on I’ll expose or tell all about what happened with that girl. It was an intimate thing but I have to open myself up to prove that nothing exceptional happened.
“What happened that day was a relationship between a man and a woman, within four walls, like with any couple. And the next day nothing much happened. We kept exchanging messages. She asked me for a souvenir for [her child].”
The video also contained what appear to be partially blurred explicit images that Neymar claims were sent by the woman.
Neymar is currently on international duty with the Brazilian national team ahead of the Copa America, which starts on June 14.