Sunday 17 November 2019

Rape claim is 'complete fabrication' - Ronaldo

Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo. AP Photo/Antonio Calanni
Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo. AP Photo/Antonio Calanni

Ken Ritter

Cristiano Ronaldo's new Las Vegas criminal defence lawyer went on the attack yesterday, saying documents cited in media reports about a rape claim against the soccer star were "complete fabrications" and the encounter was consensual.

In a statement, attorney Peter S Christiansen blamed reports about the 2009 encounter on electronic data leaks of documents that he said were stolen by a hacker from law firms and other entities in Europe and then put up for sale.

Ronaldo "is accustomed to being the subject of press attention that goes along with being famous", Mr Christiansen said.

But the statement called it "absolutely deplorable that any media outlet would support or advance such an elaborate and deliberate defamation campaign based on stolen, easily manipulated digital documents".

The statement acknowledged that Ronaldo and Kathryn Mayorga reached a non-disclosure agreement in 2010 after their encounter in Las Vegas.

Ms Mayorga's attorneys, Leslie Stovall and Larissa Drohobyczer, did not immediately respond to telephone, email and text messages.

Ronaldo (33) plays for the Italian club Juventus and his country Portugal.

Some sponsors, including Nike and video game maker EA Sports, have expressed concern about the rape allegation.

Ms Mayorga (34), a former model, filed a lawsuit on September 27 in Nevada acknowledging that she accepted $375,000 (€325,000) to keep quiet about the encounter with Ronaldo in a hotel penthouse.

The lawsuit seeks to void the agreement that her lawyers say she signed under pressure from "fixers" trying to protect the reputation of Ronaldo. The lawsuit also seeks monetary damages of at least $200,000.

"Given the breach of that agreement by the other side and the inflammatory accusations that have been lodged in the ensuing days, Mr Ronaldo feels compelled to no longer stand silent," Mr Christiansen said in his statement.

"To absolve any doubt, Mr Ronaldo has always maintained, as he does today, that what occurred in 2009 in Las Vegas was consensual in nature," it said.

"The documents which purportedly contain statements by Mr Ronaldo and have been reported in the media are complete fabrications."

Mr Christiansen declined to comment further.

Police have refused to release documents, citing the reopened case, and have not commented about progress in the investigation.

Irish Independent

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