UPDATE: Da Costa sex attack trial victim accused of being gold-digger
A woman who claims she was sexually assaulted by former West Ham star Manuel Da Costa in a Gants Hill nightclub was accused of trying to get compensation from the wealthy footballer.
The 25-year-old Portuguese defender is said to have grabbed the woman’s crotch and breasts as she walked past his table in celebrity nightspot Faces.
He then punched her twice in the face when she remonstrated with him, jurors at Snaresbrook Crown Court have heard.
Today Da Costa’s barrister accused the alleged victim, who was 20 at the time of the incident in the early hours of October 17 last year, of trying to get cash from the footballer.
Sonia Woodley, QC, suggested: “You were aware no doubt of the sort of money that Premier footballers earn, and you know that you have a right to apply for compensation.
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“Is this what this is all about?”
The woman, who was giving her evidence from behind a screen, vehemently denied the claim.
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She said: “I did it because if I go out to a nightclub I shouldn’t have someone invading my space.”
Miss Woodley suggested that the woman had done a Google search of her client’s name immediately following the incident after she was told he was a footballer.
The witness agreed that she had done this, but not until after he left the club.
The barrister also put it to the young woman that she had “overreacted” after Da Costa touched her on the shoulder and accidentally brushed her breast.
Da Costa, of Wards Wharf Approach, Silvertown, east London, has admitted common assault, but denies sexual assault.
The defender joined West Ham in August 2009 on a three-year contract, but left in June this year to play for Lokomotiv Moscow.
The trial continues.