Rio Mayor Paes Begs Forgiveness After Roughing Up Musician

The mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes, apologized today after a physical altercation with a musician in a restaurant.

Paes was dining at a restaurant located in the leafy Jardim Botanico neighborhood this weekend when Bernardo Botkay, an author and musician known as Botika, began hurling insults including “turd” and “bum” at him.

Botkay alleges that Paes approached him and punched him in the face, according to his Facebook page. Paes said the insults resulted in an argument and an ensuing “physical misunderstanding” that prompted his security detail to intervene, according to a statement.

“Personal attacks during private moments with my wife are not acceptable,” Paes said. “Despite the couple’s attacks, I should not have reacted as I did. I ask for forgiveness from the population of my city for the way I acted.”

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s second-largest city, will host the finals of the 2014 World Cup as well as the 2016 summer Olympic games. Brazil’s former capital has labored to recast itself as a modern hub ripe for investment and tourism, after increased policing and economic growth reduced the violence that characterized Rio for decades.

To contact the reporter on this story: David Biller in Rio de Janeiro at dbiller1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andre Soliani at asoliani@bloomberg.net

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