Ron­aldo de­fends him­self against rape ac­cu­sa­tion

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - Sport -

SPEAK­ING pub­licly for the first time since be­ing ac­cused of rape, Cris­tiano Ron­aldo de­fended him­self against the al­le­ga­tion and said on Mon­day in Manch­ester, Eng­land, he is con­fi­dent the truth will come out in the case.

The soc­cer su­per­star has been ac­cused of rape in the United States. Kathryn May­orga filed a civil law­suit last month in Ne­vada claim­ing Ron­aldo raped her in his Las Ve­gas ho­tel room in 2009. Po­lice also re­opened an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the al­le­ga­tion at her re­quest.

Ron­aldo’s at­tor­ney, Peter S. Chris­tiansen, is­sued a state­ment on Oc­to­ber 10 deny­ing wrong­do­ing by his client.

“I’m not go­ing to lie in this sit­u­a­tion,” Ron­aldo said at a news con­fer­ence ahead of a Cham­pi­ons League match be­tween his Ital­ian team, Ju­ven­tus, and for­mer club Manch­ester United at Old Trafford yes­ter­day. “I’m very happy. My lawyers, they are con­fi­dent and of course I am, too. The most im­por­tant, is I en­joy the foot­ball, I en­joy my life. The rest, I have peo­ple who take care of my life.

“Of course, the truth is al­ways com­ing in the first po­si­tion.”

Chris­tiansen de­clined com­ment. At­tor­neys Les­lie Mark Sto­vall and Larissa Dro­hoby­czer, rep­re­sent­ing May­orga, did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to mes­sages. Ron­aldo pre­vi­ously had con­fronted the al­le­ga­tions in an In­sta­gram video posted Oc­to­ber 3, hours af­ter the suit was filed. “Fake. Fake news,” the five-time world player of the year said at that time.

Chris­tiansen has branded doc­u­ments that led to me­dia re­ports about the rape claim “com­plete fab­ri­ca­tions” and as­serted that the en­counter in a Las Ve­gas ho­tel pent­house bed­room was con­sen­sual. At­tor­neys for May­orga have chal­lenged Ron­aldo’s le­gal team to prove that doc­u­ments are false.

Ron­aldo joined Ju­ven­tus in the off­sea­son from Real Madrid. He has scored five goals in nine matches for the Ital­ian cham­pion, and two in three matches since be­ing ac­cused of rape.

Asked about his sta­tus as a soc­cer role model, the 33-year-old Ron­aldo: “I know I am an ex­am­ple. I know, 100 per­cent. On the pitch and out­side the pitch. So I am al­ways smil­ing, I am happy man. I’m blessed that I play in a fan­tas­tic club, I have a fan­tas­tic fam­ily, I have four kids, I am healthy. I have ev­ery­thing.”

“So the rest, it doesn’t in­ter­fere on me,” he added, be­fore say­ing with a smile: “I’m very, very well.”

Ron­aldo is re­turn­ing to Old Trafford for the sec­ond time since leav­ing United to join Real Madrid in 2009. The first time was for the sec­ond leg of a Cham­pi­ons League last 16-match be­tween United and Madrid in 2013, when he was given a stand­ing ova­tion by United fans and in­tro­duced as the “mag­nif­i­cent seven” — a ref­er­ence to the num­ber he had at the English club.

Ron­aldo scored the win­ning goal that night, elim­i­nat­ing United.

The Por­tu­gal for­ward has won the Cham­pi­ons League five times, once with United in 2008 and then at Madrid in 2014, ‘16, ‘17 and this year.

“I remember what it was like in Manch­ester. My his­tory, we won lots of tro­phies, cups, leagues and the Cham­pi­ons League. I remember the sup­port of the fans. (Then-united man­ager) Sir Alex (Ferguson) is some­one I will never for­get. He was a huge lift in my ca­reer.

“When I knew we were playing Manch­ester United, it was a huge thing for me.” – AP

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