- Cristiano Ronaldo has been accused of rape. The soccer player and his agent deny the allegation.
- Kathryn Mayorga, 34, alleges that Ronaldo raped her in a $US1,000-per-night penthouse of a Las Vegas hotel in 2009.
- Der Spiegel, the German publication that first disclosed Mayorga’s allegation in April 2017, reported over the weekend that Ronaldo’s lawyers paid Mayorga $US375,000 to “never again speak about that night.”
- But Mayorga said she felt empowered to come forward in light of the #MeToo movement.
- Her new lawyer has expressed doubt that the agreement is legally binding, according to Der Spiegel.
The mother of Kathryn Mayorga, the 34-year-old woman who has accused Cristiano Ronaldo of raping her in a Las Vegas hotel in 2009, says the alleged incident “never left” her daughter, who would “completely disintegrate” when she saw him on billboards in the years that followed.
Der Spiegel, the German publication that first disclosed Mayorga’s allegation in April 2017, reported over the weekend that Ronaldo paid Mayorga $US375,000 to “never again speak about that night.” But Der Spiegel said her new legal representative had expressed doubt that the agreement is legally binding.
Jorge Mendes, Ronaldo’s agent and adviser, described the Der Spiegel article last year as “journalistic fiction.”
Mayorga alleges that Ronaldo raped her shortly after they met on June 12, 2009, in the VIP section of the nightclub Rain, at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. It was the same summer Ronaldo left Manchester United for Real Madrid in what was a world-record soccer transfer at that time.
Mayorga, then 25 years old, says she talked with Ronaldo during the night, then went to his $US1,000-per-night penthouse at the Hotel Palms Place.
Mayorga told Der Spiegel over the weekend that Ronaldo “begged” her to touch him. She said that when she declined, he promised he would let her go if she kissed him, so she did.
This only made his advances stronger, Mayorga said. She alleged that he then tried to remove her underwear, jumped on her, and raped her. He did not wear a condom, she said.
She said that even afterward, Ronaldo wouldn’t let her leave and was calling her “baby, baby.”
Ronaldo has denied the allegation and said the encounter was consensual.
Mayorga called the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department at 2:16 p.m. the next day, Der Spiegel reported, citing a report of the call. The publication said she did not refer to Ronaldo by name but described him as an athlete and public figure.
Ronaldo, his lawyers, and a mediator sought an out-of-court settlement with a “young American woman” in 2010, Der Spiegel reported last year. The publication said in the article last week that Mayorga signed the deal and agreed to the payoff “out of fear for herself and her family” and “out of impotence, the inability to stand up to him.”
Mayorga said she felt empowered to tell her story eight years later in light of the #MeToo movement against sexual violence and harassment.
She told Der Spiegel that she had “always wondered” whether Ronaldo, one of the most valuable soccer players on the planet, had ever sexually abused other women.
Her mother, Cheryl, told Der Spiegel that the incident “never left” her daughter.
“Every day, she lives it,” Cheryl Mayorga said. “There were times when she would call me and his – he would be on a billboard or whatever, and she would just completely disintegrate. Having to walk into a store to get a pint of milk, and you’ve got his picture everywhere.”
She added: “He’s the soccer god that everybody thinks is just perfect and flawless … And she can’t even get out of bed some days.”
“It’s just wrong,” Cheryl Mayorga said. “We’re behind her 100%.”
When Business Insider contacted Gestifute, Ronaldo’s management company, for comment, a representative forwarded a statement from Ronaldo’s lawyers that’s on its website, adding that this is “all for now.”
The statement, from Christian Schertz, an attorney, says:
“The reporting in Spiegel is blatantly illegal. It violates the personal rights of our client Cristiano Ronaldo in an exceptionally serious way. This is an inadmissible reporting of suspicions in the area of privacy. It would therefore already be unlawful to reproduce this reporting. We have been instructed to immediately assert all existing claims under press law against Spiegel, in particular compensation for moral damages in an amount corresponding to the gravity of the infringement, which is probably one of the most serious violations of personal rights in recent years.”
In a recent Instagram live video, Ronaldo dismissed the allegations as “fake news.”
According to The Associated Press, 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.”
The AP also reported on Tuesday that Ronaldo was being sued by a woman in Nevada who accuses him of raping her in 2009 and hiring a team of “fixers” to “obstruct the criminal investigation and trick her into keeping quiet.”
Las Vegas police confirmed to the AP on Monday that a sexual-assault case from 2009 brought by the woman named in the lawsuit had been reopened.
“As of now this is an ongoing investigation and no further details are being released at this time,” Aden Ocampo Gomez, a police spokesman, told the AP.
Der Spiegel said it believesRonaldo will eventually “have to revisit the case and speak about what happened on that night in Las Vegas nine years ago.”
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