Lucky break for Adriano as the woman shot in his car claims SHE pulled the trigger
A woman who was accidentally shot and wounded in her left hand while accompanying former Brazil striker Adriano in his car says she pulled the gun”s trigger.
Adriene Pinto, 20, had told police the Corinthians player accidentally fired his bodyguard”s gun when he was playing with it inside the car.
The incident happened after Adriano, the former Inter Milan forward, four women and the gun”s owner left a night club in Rio”s Barra da Tijuca district.
Spotlight: Adriano was initially accused of accidentally shooting a woman in the hand
However it has now emerged Pinto recanted her earlier testimony following contests from witnesses and claimed she picked up the .44 calibre pistol that was beneath the driver”s seat. She says she was handling it when it accidentally went off.
The two of the other women who were in the car, both aged 28, later contested Ms Pinto”s version of events, claiming she had shot herself in the hand in a deliberate attempt to attract publicity.
Adriano – full name Adriano Leite Ribeiro – spent Christmas Eve being interrogated by police.
A spokesman for the Barra D”Or Hospital said Ms Pinto had suffered a fracture to her index finger but no arteries or tendons had been damaged.
Adriano, who won Serie A four times while at Inter Milan, has seen his career go off the rails in recent years because of problems with his weight, alcohol and depression.
The firearms incident was not his first brush with Brazilian authorities.
In 2010, he was accused of having dealings with drug traffickers in Rio but police did not press charges because of a lack of evidence.
Troubled: Adriano”s career has been blighted by lack of fitness and form
The investigation began after photos appeared on the internet of the striker holding a rifle, which Adriano later claimed was a toy.
In 2009 he was also accused of buying a motorcycle in the name of his mother and then delivering it to one of the heads of a trafficking gang in a Rio favela.
And last year police decided not to press charges despite “strong indictions” the player had transferred the equivalent of 20,000 to one of Rio”s most notorious drug lords.
Adriano denied the accusation, saying the money was to buy food baskets for poor families.
In February this year, Adriano”s driving license was suspended after he refused to take a breathalyser test after he was stopped by the police while leaving another nightclub party.