Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho believes Pepe's stamp on Lionel Messi's hand against Barcelona was unintentional.
The Portugal international defender has come in for criticism after catching Messi in their 2-1 midweek defeat by Barcelona in the Copa del Rey.
The 28-year-old has protested his innocence, telling Mourinho there was no intent on his part.
The former Inter Milan and Chelsea boss is surprised Pepe has been accused of lying when people believed Sergio Busquets last season when he denied making racist remarks to Real defender Marcelo in the UEFA Champions League.
"If Pepe had said publicly that it was intentional and he had told me the same thing then I would have been really mad," commented Mourinho.
"But he said it was not on purpose and I believe him."
He added: "If some amongst you think Pepe is a liar, that is your right.
"But I did not see you casting doubt last season on the player who denied making racist remarks. Quite to the contrary in fact, everyone believed him including UEFA."