Ger­man magazine ‘stands by’ story about Ron­aldo rape al­le­ga­tion

Tehran Times - - WORLD SPORTS -

The Ger­man magazine that re­ported a rape al­le­ga­tion made against foot­baller Cris­tiano Ron­aldo says it has “no rea­son” to doubt the au­then­tic­ity of key doc­u­ments used in its story.

Ron­aldo, 33, de­nies as­sault­ing Kathryn May­orga at a Las Ve­gas ho­tel in 2009.

Lawyers rep­re­sent­ing the Ju­ven­tus player said on Wed­nes­day that doc­u­ments had been “com­pletely fab­ri­cated”.

But Der Spiegel said: “We have hun­dreds of doc­u­ments from dif­fer­ent sources that sub­stan­ti­ate our re­port­ing.”

It added in a state­ment: “We stand by our re­port­ing. We have no rea­son to be­lieve that those doc­u­ments are not au­then­tic.

“Fur­ther­more, as al­ways and be­fore pub­lish­ing ev­ery sin­gle ar­ti­cle in Der Spiegel, we have metic­u­lously factchecked our in­for­ma­tion and had it legally re­viewed.

“The state­ment that was is­sued by [Ron­aldo’s lawyer] Peter Chris­tiansen on be­half of Cris­tiano Ron­aldo presents the usual path that Mr Ron­aldo and his lawyers have taken in the past when un­suc­cess­fully fight­ing our in­ves­tiga­tive work.”

The magazine’s story cen­tres on a ques­tion­naire, which it says came from Ron­aldo’s lawyers, in which the Por­tu­gal in­ter­na­tional ad­mits May­orga, 34, said “no” and “stop” dur­ing the al­leged at­tack.

In a state­ment re­leased on Wed­nes­day, Chris­tiansen said the doc­u­ments were “pure in­ven­tions” and the re­sult of a 2015 cy­ber at­tack, dur­ing which “elec­tronic data was stolen” from “dozens of en­ti­ties (in­clud­ing law firms) in dif­fer­ent parts of Europe”.

He added: “This hacker tried to sell such in­for­ma­tion, and a me­dia out­let ir­re­spon­si­bly ended up pub­lish­ing some of the stolen doc­u­ments, sig­nif­i­cant parts of which were al­tered and/or com­pletely fab­ri­cated.”

Der Spiegel re­sponded by say­ing: “In our ar­ti­cle, we quote two ver­sions of a doc­u­ment with state­ments by Mr Ron­aldo.

“It’s a ques­tion­naire that comes from his lawyers and de­scribes the course of the night, in which the al­leged rape oc­curred. The first ver­sion of this ques­tion­naire, in which Ron­aldo is quoted as say­ing that Ms May­orga said ‘no’ and ‘stop’, is con­sis­tent with many de­tails of Ms May­orga’s de­scrip­tion of the in­ci­dent.

“Both also state that he apol­o­gised to her af­ter­wards. In a later ver­sion of this ques­tion­naire, Mr Ron­aldo de­nies the ac­cu­sa­tion of rape and de­nies apol­o­gis­ing to Ms May­orga.”

Chris­tiansen said his client’s po­si­tion con­tin­ues to be that “what hap­pened in 2009 in Las Ve­gas was com­pletely con­sen­sual”.

’Ad­mit­tance of pay­ment’

Der Spiegel also believes Ron­aldo’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives have changed their nar­ra­tive re­gard­ing the al­leged pay­ment that was made to May­orga by Ron­aldo’s lawyers in 2010.

May­orga, who the magazine says filed a re­port with Las Ve­gas po­lice shortly af­ter the al­leged in­ci­dent, re­port­edly reached an out-of-court set­tle­ment with Ron­aldo in­volv­ing a $375,000 (£288,000) pay­ment for agree­ing never to go pub­lic with the al­le­ga­tions.

Chris­tiansen says Ron­aldo does not deny he en­tered into an agree­ment, but “the rea­sons that led him to do so are at least to be dis­torted”. He added: “This agree­ment is by no means a con­fes­sion of guilt.”

Der Spiegel said: “When we pub­lished an ar­ti­cle about the set­tle­ment agree­ment be­tween Ms May­orga and Mr Ron­aldo in 2017, his ad­vi­sors called it ‘noth­ing but a piece of jour­nal­is­tic fic­tion’.

“Now, Mr Ron­aldo ad­mits that he agreed to that set­tle­ment.”

The magazine’s state­ment added: “Be­fore pub­lish­ing our story about the rape ac­cu­sa­tions, we gave Mr Ron­aldo and his lawyers the op­por­tu­nity to re­spond to the al­le­ga­tions.

“They could have dis­puted the facts that we pre­sented to them. They did not do that. In no way did they claim that parts of our in­for­ma­tion were ‘pure in­ven­tions’. One of his lawyers threat­ened to sue us for pub­lish­ing be­cause he said that we in­fringed Mr Ron­aldo’s per­sonal rights. So far, we have not re­ceived any­thing in this re­gard.

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