Neymar has strongly denied the accusations, saying the encounter in Paris was consensual. His accuser gave her account on Brazilian television Wednesday.
“My intention was to have sex with him,” model Najila Mendes de Souza said on the news show “Conexão Repórter.” “When I got there, he was aggressive, totally different than the man I knew in our messages.”
When she learned he did not have a condom, she said, she told him they would not have sex: “I said, ‘No, no, stop.’ ”
She said he beat and raped her.
In an Instagram post Saturday, Neymar published images of messages he said he exchanged with Souza, including nude photos of a woman with her face and genitals blurred out.
“It was a trap, and I ended up falling for it,” he said in a video message. “I’m going to expose all of our conversations. These are intimate moments, but it is necessary to release them to prove that nothing happened.”
The post was quickly taken down by Instagram, but not before it generated heated discussion.
Former soccer player Claudinei Pires defended Neymar’s decision to release the photos.
“In Neymar's position, I would defend myself,” he said on the Brazilian talk show “PopShow.” “I would shout it to the world, ‘I’m not a rapist.’ She tried to expose him as a rapist, so he has to expose their conversation, too.”
On Wednesday, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said he would like to give Neymar a hug.
“He’s a boy,” Bolsonaro told reporters at a news conference. “He’s going through a hard time, but I believe him.”
Later, Bolsonaro tweeted a photograph of himself visiting the soccer player in a Brazilian hospital, where he is recovering from a foot injury.
After Neymar’s post, dozens of fake accounts with explicit photos appeared under the name of his accuser. Brazilian feminists said the case exemplifies the re-victimization of sexual assault victims.
“Like bait for latent machismo, people quickly jumped on board,” the writer and researcher Debora Diniz wrote in an opinion piece in Marie Claire. “Neymar was just one more ‘boy’ who was trapped by sex, and as proof, the virtual tribunals point to the photos she sent.”
The encounter occurred in Paris, where Neymar plays forward for the French soccer club Paris-Saint Germain. According to Brazilian police, he exchanged messages with a woman on Instagram and paid for her travel to join him at the Sofitel Hotel in Paris on May 15. The woman told police that he arrived at the hotel drunk and that what began as a consensual encounter quickly became violent.
The photos Neymar released to defend himself might have put him in more jeopardy. Brazilian police, who are unable to investigate an alleged assault in another country, are now investigating whether he can be charged for distributing nude photos without consent, a crime punishable by up to five years in jail.
Neymar is scheduled to appear before Brazilian police for questioning Friday. His accuser, who filed her complaint with Brazilian police, has not responded to two summonses for more information, according to local media, citing police.
Heloisa Buarque de Almeida, who studies violence against women and the media at the University of Sao Paulo, said there “are two common responses” to allegations of sexual assault.
“One is to doubt the victim,” she said. “The other is to paint the rapist as a monster. The problem is that rape and violence against women is all too common.”