A British wife who said she was raped by two men in Dubai went back to their hotel room because she thought they were famous footballers, a friend of the accused pair said.
The 25-year-old IT consultant was said to have impressed by the clothes and jewellery worn by Louis Harris and David Butlin when she met them in a nightclub.
A friend close to the two men told MailOnline: ‘The woman thought they might be footballers. They looked the part with their smart clothes and expensive jewellery.
‘Only she knows why she went to their hotel room.’
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, later claimed she had been raped by the pair.
All three were arrested and held for having extramarital sex in the strict Gulf state.
But they were dramatically allowed fly back to the UK after prosecutors in Dubai said mobile phone footage showed the sex that took place was consensual.
Harris, 24, a former academy footballer with Wolverhampton Wanderers, and Butlin, 22, a market trader and businessman, had told MailOnline of their relief at seeing the sex crime allegations dropped.
They insisted the woman had made false allegations and said no man should wrongly be accused of rape.
The pair returned to their families in the West Midlands where they have been talking to friends about events leading up to the encounter.
The victim, who waived her right to anonymity with one news organisation for a fund raising campaign to raise cash for her legal fees, had met the pair at Dubai’s biggest and most popular nightclub called Zero Gravity.
She was on a short stopover in the popular holiday destination before continuing to Australia to begin a new life following the breakdown of her two year marriage.
After drinks at the club all three took a taxi back to the men’s hotel at Jumeriah Beach.
Harris, who lives with his parents in a £700,000 rural property near Lichfield, Staffordshire, said last week the woman was asking questions about their homes back in the UK.
He said they had taken photos of her on their iPhone prior to going back to their hotel room.
For legal reasons Harris and Butlin could not talk about the mobile phone footage or what took place in their bedroom at the Ramada Plaza Jumeriah Beach Resort hotel before they left Dubai.
After flying back to the UK last week the woman told The Sun she had not consented to sex with the pair.
‘The idea I consented to sex with these men is wrong. I have been portrayed as the devil but all I did was tell the truth,’ she said.
She said she had agreed to go for drinks with the men with her 16-year-old brother. It is not known how long he stayed at the hotel.
She added: ‘I wasn’t in Dubai to go wild. I was with my young brother. We didn’t think twice about going for drinks after spending a couple of hours with them.’
The woman said she reported the alleged rape to the hotel manager straight away. She said: ‘This was not me waking up the next morning regretting a sordid experience. This was the immediate aftermath.’
She also said she had spent five days in prison after reporting the rape and being charged with having sex outside marriage.
An online fundraising campaign launched by her family in Widnes, Cheshire, raised £30,000.
She said some of the money will go to her lawyer while other cash pledged will go to a rape charity.
During the two hours MailOnline spent with the two accused at their Dubai lawyer’s office they appeared shattered by the ordeal.
But after having their passport returned their mood lifted. Harris denied that all three had been drunk when they went back to the hotel room.
On legal advice he would not elaborate at the time on what took place but denied a report they had been arrested as they tried to leave the country.
‘We voluntarily went to the police and talked to them,’ he said. ‘It was wrong to say we were arrested as we tried to leave the country. We cooperated as soon as we were aware of what had been said.’
Harris told MailOnline he was baffled as to why the woman alleged she had been attacked. Butlin said mobile phone footage proved the allegation was false.
He said: ‘One of my mates said someone was looking after us. That tape has saved us.’
The video footage is still on the phone and was not erased by the police in Dubai. as a lawyer who acted for the men in Dubai advised them to erase the footage.
The pair spoke nervously about their time in the Gulf state since the encounter. ‘We are very relieved that it is over. Really happy, and so are our families,’ said Harris.
Butlin added that they had been through ‘a roller coaster of emotions’ – adding: ‘We have had to stay strong for our families back home. If we had crumbled it would have been much tougher on them.’
Butlin said it had been ‘heartbreaking’ to call their parents after they were held.
In dismissing the rape allegation a spokesman for the Dubai Prosecutor’s office said: ‘The office of Dubai Public Prosecutor has closed the case involving the alleged rape of British national ZJM following careful examination of all evidence.’
It added that ‘the act happened with the consent of the three parties in question. A video obtained from the mobile phone of one of the suspects detailing the act was a key evidence that supported this conclusion.’
Today, the woman’s father denied that she had gone back to their hotel room because she believed that they were footballers.
He said: ‘That is complete rubbish. I don’t know where you heard that but I’ve not heard it.’