'Attempted extortion': Neymar rejects rape allegations as blackmail
Brazilian football star Neymar has vigorously denied allegations that he raped a woman in a French hotel last month, insisting instead that he is the victim of an alleged blackmail attempt.
The 27-year-old, who plays for Paris Saint-Germain in the French capital, was responding to the claim which surfaced on Saturday after a document filed with police in Sao Paulo, Brazil, which alleged that the player drunkenly assaulted a woman he had met on Instagram.
The world's most expensive player is understood to have become acquainted with the woman on social media and arranged for plane tickets and a hotel booking for her, however the police report claims that Neymar arrived to the hotel intoxicated, became violent and "practised sexual intercourse against the will of the victim."Also on rt.com Brazilian football star Neymar accused of rape in Paris – reports
Neymar's response came on Instagram, where he posted a seven-minute video in which he denies the allegations, describing it as a "set-up".
"Anyone who knows me, knows of my behaviour, knows that I would never do something like that," the player said. "There was a relationship between a man and a woman between four walls. The next day nothing happened.
"I hope investigators read the messages and see what happened," Neymar said, referencing further messages between the two after the alleged incident which he says were friendly."
In addition to his Instagram statement, a further denial was issued by the player's management on his personal website.
"Although he was surprised by the news, the facts were already known to the player and his staff, considering that a few days ago he was the victim of an attempted extortion, practised by a lawyer from Sao Paulo who said he represented the interests of the alleged victim," it reads.
"The player's lawyers were immediately notified and have since taken all appropriate steps. 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 authorities in a timely manner."Also on rt.com ‘Disgrace!’: Neymar given 3 game Euro ban for Instagram outburst after PSG Champions League exit
The accuser reported to the alleged incident to police once she returned to Sao Paulo, claiming that she was shaken by the event and unwilling to make an official police complaint while in a foreign country.
Previously, Neymar's father had responded to the report by saying that his son is a victim of blackmail. Paris Saint-Germain have yet to comment on the situation.
Neymar is set to compete for Brazil in the Copa America which begins on June 14, though he will not do so as captain after being stripped of that particular responsibility for a series of disciplinary incidents.