The world of sport can be a display of amazing moments. Some blistering performances on the field, some record-breaking achievements and other brilliant moments make up for headlines every day. But the flipside of the sporting business can be very ugly.
Brazil international and Paris Saint-Germain star player Neymar da Silva Santos Junior was accused of raping a woman on Friday last week. In addressing the allegations, the former Barcelona forward released a 7-minute video on his Instagram where he revealed private communications between him and the woman, that included intimate images of her.
Neymar Sr., father and agent to the player, appeared on Brazil TV saying that the allegations were an attempt to extort the player and that evidence in pictures and texts were in their possession.
In the video posted by Neymar, he said in Portuguese, “I’m being accused of rape. Yes. it is a heavy word, a very strong thing.”
“What happened was totally the opposite of what they are talking and saying, I’m very upset at this moment,” he added.
According to the Sao Paulo police report dated May 31, the accuser is a resident of Brazil who met Neymar on Instagram. After exchanging messages online, Neymar ‘invited her to meet him in Paris’ and then ‘supplied her with plane tickets and accommodation’. She told the police she arrived in Paris on May 15.
The victim described the situation saying ‘on that day, Neymar showed up at the hotel at about 8 p.m. apparently drunk’, according to the report. The two talked and began to ‘exchange a few cuddles, however after a while Neymar became aggressive and violently engaged in sexual intercourse against the will of the victim,’ the report stated.
An emotional Neymar, in his video, said that his encounter with the accuser was “a relationship between a man and woman, within four walls, something that happens with every couple,” but that he was set up. “It was a trap, and I ended up falling for it.”
Neymar’s representative, NR Sports, said in a press release that 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.”
Neymar’s video also included some explicit pictures of the two on that day, as Neymar ended the video disappointed and concerned.
Only time could tell the truth behind such an accusation. The sports world has been a victim to defamation and extortion in the past, some even ending bright careers. Let’s hope to see the player come out of this innocent.