Cristiano Ronaldo has issued a firm denial of the sexual assault allegations made against him by an American woman.
In a social media post, the Juventus and Portugal forward said his conscience was ”clear” after a lawsuit accusing him of rape, among other allegations, was filed last week by Kathryn Mayorga, 34.
Mayorga claims Ronaldo raped her in a Las Vegas hotel in 2009 and then dispatched a team of “fixers” to obstruct the criminal investigation and manipulate her into keeping quiet for $375,000.
The lawsuit says Mayorga, from Nevada, asked police last month to reopen the criminal case, with Las Vegas police confirming on Monday they have reopened a sexual assault case from 2009 that corresponds with the date of Mayorga’s allegation.
Taking to Twitter on Wednesday, Ronaldo said: “I firmly deny the accusations being issued against me. Rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything that I am and believe in.
“Keen as I may be to clear my name, I refuse to feed the media spectacle created by people seeking to promote themselves at my expense.
“My clear conscious [sic] will thereby allow me to await with tranquillity the results of any and all investigations.”
Alongside the accusation of rape, the lawsuit filed by Mayorga accuses Ronaldo or those working for him of battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, coercion and fraud, abuse of a vulnerable person, racketeering and civil conspiracy, defamation, abuse of process, breach of contract, and negligence for allowing details of the confidential settlement to leak out.
It asks for general damages, special damages, punitive damages and special relief, each in excess of $50,000, along with interest, attorney fees and court costs.
After a report on the case was published in Der Spiegel last week, Ronaldo's lawyer, Christian Schertz, threatened to sue the German magazine: “It violates the personal rights of our client Cristiano Ronaldo in an exceptionally serious way.”
Ronaldo later appeared to deny the allegations in an Instagram video. “Fake. Fake news,” he said. “You want to promote by my name. It’s normal. They want to be famous, to say my name. But it is part of the job. I am a happy man and all good.”
Mayorga’s current attorney Larissa Drohobyczer, who said she did not represent Mayorga in 2009 negotiations with Ronaldo’s representatives, acknowledged her client originally accepted the settlement money offered by the footballer and his team.
No court document was filed at the time, and Drohobyczer declined to identify the lawyers who handled the case at that time for Mayorga and for Ronaldo.
Drohobyczer and her legal team are set to hold a press conference today in which they are expected to provide additional details of the allegations made against the Juventus player. Mayorga will not be present.
“She’s not going to be interviewed,” Drohobyczer told the Associated Press. “At this time she’s emotionally fragile.”
Mayorga met Ronaldo at a nightclub, according to the lawsuit, and went with him and other people to his suite, where the alleged attack took place in a bedroom.
“She came to us and we had concerns with what happened in 2009 ... with the police investigation and the circumstances around the settlement and how the negotiations were conducted,” Drohobyczer told AP.
“We don’t believe she had the capacity to enter an agreement at that time due to her emotional state,” Drohobyczer said. She characterised Mayorga in 2009 as emotionally damaged, fearful, depressed and humiliated after the alleged attack and pressure from Ronaldo’s representatives.
“We asked police to reopen the investigation and they did,” Drohobyczer said.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police said that because the investigation is open, the department would not make public the report that Mayorga filed the day of the alleged attack. The lawsuit said Mayorga also went to a hospital, where a sexual assault medical examination was conducted.
However, Mayorga refused to tell police the location of the alleged attack or to identify a suspect other than to say he was a European soccer player, according to police.
One of Ronaldo’s partners has already expressed their concern regarding the recent allegations made against the footballer.
Save the Children, for whom the Portuguese has served as an ambassador since 2016, said on Tuesday that it is “disheartened” by the reports.
A spokesperson for the charity told The Independent: “We are disheartened by the news report we’ve seen in the last 24 hours and are working to get more information.”
The Independent has contacted a number of Ronaldo’s commercial partners and sponsors for comment.
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