A Lionel Messi lookalike from Iran has had to deny that he used his looks to con 23 women into sleeping with him after reports on social media accused him of mimicking the Barcelona footballer for the good of his love life.
Reza Parastesh, who labels himself on his Instagram page the “Iranian Messi”, has rejected the accusations as “fake news”, and has said that he is not currently being sued for sleeping with 23 women are claiming to be the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
In a video post on his Instagram page, Mr Parastesh says that he has not committed any wrongdoing and is fully aware of the issues that would surround such behaviour, before adding that he was releasing the video in an effort to clear his name.
“Hi friends, a piece of false news about me is trending on social media with regards to me sleeping with 23 women because they thought I was Lionel Messi. Please do not play with people's reputation and credibility,” he said.
“We are all aware of the fact that if it actually happened to anyone, there would be some complaints and it would lead to my prosecution. That would be a disaster and a calamity of international proportion. If this news was true, I would be in jail right now.
“Do not believe it, it is not true. I am going to do everything to fight this legally and make sure my name is cleared.”
Watch the video below...
The 26-year-old learned of the allegations, which emerged on Twitter earlier in the week, when he was “harassed” about the claims, while his family have also become aware of the story.
“The news is spreading in the Muslim countries and it has been a disaster,” Mr Parastesh added. “I was severely harassed because it released the whole world on me. My family also harassed me, but the people's attack was more influential.”
The video was posted to his near-700,000 Instagram followers and shred widely on Twitter, with Gary Linker one of those expressing their relief that the allegations were untrue.
Mr Parastesh has made a career out of looking like Messi and styles his hair and beard to look like the Argentine footballer, with numerous posts on his Instagram page either of him pretending to be Messi in a Barcelona shirt or of the man himself in press conferences and in action in the pitch.
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