Neymar is taking legal action against transgender influencer Sophia Barclay for defamation, according to Brazilian media outlet UOL. The footballer is seeking damages after a series of interviews in which Barclay claimed to have had an intimate relationship with Neymar and surfer Pedro Scooby at a party.
The lawsuit was filed this week in the São Paulo State Court of Justice. The criminal complaint against Barclay seeks a minimum of 100,000 Brazilian reais (more than 18,000 euros) in damages. Neymar’s lawyers refer to interviews given by Barclay to at least three different media outlets. Neymar believes her statements have damaged his “dignity, image, and reputation.”
In December 2021, Barclay claimed to have had an intimate relationship with Neymar and Scooby, as well as another woman, in a bedroom. She also alleges that Neymar offered her a confidentiality agreement to keep their relationship private, under penalty of a 20,000 Brazilian reais (3,700 euros) fine. Neymar also states in the court documents that a request has already been made to the court for Barclay to provide explanations in the context of another case.
Barclay has since publicly acknowledged her mistake in divulging private information and has apologized to the people involved. She claims to be the victim of death threats from Neymar’s fans and has been suffering from panic attacks since the case became public.
The case is still ongoing, and it is unclear what the outcome will be. However, it is a significant development in the ongoing debate about LGBTQ+ rights in Brazil. Neymar’s decision to sue Barclay could be seen as a way of silencing her and protecting his own reputation. However, it could also backfire and draw more attention to the case, potentially leading to a public discussion about LGBTQ+ discrimination in Brazil.