Cuban woman, 37, accuses Diego Maradona of rape

Rego says she was abused, raped and held against her will during a relationship with late football icon

Sravasti Dasgupta
Tuesday 23 November 2021 12:07
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Cuban woman accuses late football icon Maradona of rape and abuse.

A Cuban woman has accused late Argentine football idol Diego Maradona and his entourage of sexual violence and abuse in a press conference on Monday.

Mavys Alvarez Rego, 37, told the media in Buenos Aires that she met Maradona at 16, when the footballer, then in his forties, lived in Cuba, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Maradona, considered to be one of the greatest footballers in history, died last year after a heart attack following a brain surgery on a blood clot. He had battled cocaine and alcohol addiction for decades.

Ms Alvarez Rego, who now lives in Miami with her two children aged 4 and 15, said she was speaking out after years of silence in order to balance some of the stories that were being told in a TV series about Maradona in the run-up to the first anniversary of his death on 25 November.

“I achieved my goal — to say what happened to me, to prevent it from happening to others, or at least so that other girls feel the strength, the courage to speak up,” she said.

Ms Alvarez Rego said that she had an affair with Maradona when she had first met him two decades ago.

“I was dazzled, he won me over... But after two months everything started to change”, she said.

The affair lasted “between four and five years” according to Ms Alvarez Rego, during which she claimed Maradona had pushed her into trying cocaine, in turn making her dependent.

She also claimed that she had been abused by Maradona who “raped” her on one occasion at their home in Havana.

“He covers my mouth, he rapes me, I don’t want to think about it too much,” Ms Alvarez Rego said, reported Reuters.

“I stopped being a girl, all my innocence was stolen from me. It’s hard. You stop living the innocent things that a girl of that age has to experience.”

She alleged several other episodes of physical violence and referred to a trip to Buenos Aires in 2001 when she was held against her will for several weeks in a hotel by Maradona’s entourage.

She said she was banned from going out alone and forced into a breast augmentation operation.

“I loved him but I hated him too, I even thought about suicide,” Ms Alvarez Rego said.

She has given evidence this week in Buenos Aires to an Argentine prosecutor in connection with a complaint brought by an Argentine NGO called “Foundation for Peace.”

The NGO had filed the complaint after seeing her testimonies in American media in recent weeks.

Ms Alvarez Rego however has not filed a complaint separately herself and said she would not be initiating further legal action.

“I have done what I had to do, the rest I leave to the courts,” she said.

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