- Brazilian soccer star Neymar and Nike parted ways in August 2020 after 15 years.
- The Wall Street Journal reported the split came after a Nike employee accused Neymar of sexual assault.
- Neymar denies the allegation and a spokesperson said the Nike split was for commercial reasons.
- Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
Nike parted ways with Brazilian soccer star Neymar last year after an employee accused him of sexual assault, according to a report published by The Wall Street Journal Thursday.
The Journal spoke with sources and reviewed documents that said the Nike employee told friends and coworkers that Neymar had tried to force her into performing oral sex in a New York hotel room in 2016 while she was coordinating events for the soccer player.
Nike hired lawyers to conduct an investigation into the allegation in 2019 after the employee filed a complaint.
A spokesperson for Neymar denied the allegation in a statement to The Journal, calling it a "baseless attack" and saying he split with Nike for commercial reasons.
Nike and Neymar split in August 2020 – with eight years remaining in his contract, ending a 15-year business partnership that began when Neymar was in his teens. In September, Neymar signed on to a long-term partnership with Puma, SportsPro reported.
Nike did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment, but the company's general counsel, Hilary Krane, told The Journal: "Nike ended its relationship with the athlete because he refused to cooperate in a good faith investigation of credible allegations of wrongdoing by an employee."
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.