Cristiano Ronaldo accused of rape
The Juventus star is the latest high-profile personality feeling the heat of the #MeToo movement
HE’S super talented, fabulously rich, the dad of four beautiful kids and widely regarded as one of the hottest sportsmen around. But there’s a dark cloud hanging over Cristiano Ronaldo’s charmed life – one that could bring the golden boy of world football to his knees.
The 33-year-old Portuguese superstar is the latest high-profile man to feel the sting of the #MeToo movement which has exposed many powerful men as sexual abusers. In a bombshell claim, Kathryn Mayorga, a former dancer and model, accused Ronaldo of raping her in a Las Vegas hotel in 2009 after they met in a nightclub.
The cases of two women who laid charges of assault against Ronaldo in 2005 may be delved into again now – and yet another woman has reportedly come forward to claim similar abuse at the hands of the soccer player.
Kathryn’s claims make for harrowing reading. The 34-year-old alleges Ronaldo forced himself on her, despite the fact that she was screaming and begging him to stop. When he was finished, she says he explained away his actions by saying he was “99% a good guy” who was let down “by the 1%”.
While she reported the case afterwards it never went to court because Ronaldo’s legal team reportedly paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for her silence. But emboldened by #MeToo, Kathryn now wants justice, her lawyer Leslie Stovall said.
Vegas police have reopened the case and Stovall has filed court papers. He says after the alleged incident Kathryn, who’s gone into hiding, ended up abusing alcohol and considering suicide. She also developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and had to leave her teaching job because of her “emotional state”.
Ronaldo slammed the allegations as false, saying the sex was consensual.
“No, no, no, no, no,” he said in a video on Instagram just hours after the lawsuit was filed, grinning into the camera.
“What they said today? Fake, fake news. They want to promote [themselves by using] my name. It’s normal. They want to be famous to say my name, but it’s part of the job.”
A few days later he posted a more serious denial on Twitter. “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.”
In his first appearance since the scandal broke the Juventus forward was seen watching a Champions League match in which his team played in Turin, Italy. This followed a one-match ban after being red-carded in a game against Valencia in September.
In what appeared to be a show of solidarity he was joined by girlfriend of two years Georgina Rodriguez (23), eldest son Ronaldo Jnr (8), and mother Maria Dolores dos Santos Aveiro.
Georgina, who welcomed a baby girl,
Alana, with the star last November, has expressed her support for him. In a gushing Instagram post the Spanish beauty wrote that Ronaldo, who grew up in poverty, was always able “to transform the obstacles” that were put in his path.
“I love you,” she wrote.
KATHRYN spoke out about the alleged rape in a tell-all interview with German magazine Der Spiegel. She says she met Ronaldo, then 24, in the VIP section of Rain nightclub when she was working as a model and dancer.
Paparazzi pictures and a video have since emerged showing the two flirting, hugging and dancing suggestively.
She says he then invited her to his penthouse to “enjoy the view of the Las Vegas strip”. The suite had a jacuzzi and Ronaldo invited her in. She claims Ronaldo walked in while she was changing in a bathroom, exposed himself and asked her for oral sex.
“This guy that’s so famous and so hot . . . he’s a frickin’ loser and a creep,” she told the magazine.
She said she refused to engage in the sex act, but kissed him after he promised he’d let her go. “He starts to come on to me very strong. He starts to do stuff to me and touch me and grab me. I pushed him away and kept saying, ‘No’.”
He then pulled her into a bedroom and tried to have sex with her, she claims, but she covered herself so he couldn’t penetrate her. She alleges he then turned her over and sodomised her while she screamed “no” repeatedly.
“After he assaulted me he wouldn’t let me leave. And he was calling me, ‘Baby, baby.’ He gave me this look, this guilty look. Almost like he felt bad. I don’t remember but I’m pretty sure he said, ‘Sorry’, or ‘Are you hurt?’”
She claims she asked him if he had Aids, which he denied, saying as a top athlete he’s tested every few months.
Kathryn reported the incident to the Las Vegas police that same day but didn’t immediately reveal her assailant’s identity. She also underwent a physical examination at a local hospital, which showed injuries “including but not limited to anal contusions”, according to her law- suit. She says a detective and hospital staff warned her she’d be publicly humiliated by Ronaldo and his team if she accused him of sexual assault and that they’d paint her as a “woman who consented to sexual intercourse because of his wealth and fame and was now trying to extort money from him”.
She says she was pressured by Ronaldo’s “fixers” to settle the case out of court in exchange for $375 000 (R5,6 million) and signed a nondisclosure agreement.
Kathryn claims she’s suffered “serious breakdowns” ever since. “I blame him and I blame myself for signing that thing.”
Her lawyer now claims another woman contacted him alleging she’d also been assaulted by Ronaldo and he’d hand her details to the Las Vegas police too.
AND then there’s the 2005 matter. Two women claim Ronaldo and his cousin Nonu Aveiro assaulted them in a five-star hotel suite in the UK after a Manchester United-Fulham game. Ronaldo, then 20 and playing for United, told pals at the time he and his cousin had been “stitched up”.
One of the women, who lived in Paris, withdrew her case but the second, based in London, stuck it out until police declared there was insufficient evidence to continue.
But British cops are now being urged by activists and MPs to reopen the case in light of Kathryn’s allegations.
All this could threaten the designer life Ronaldo, who’s worth $ 450 million (R6,7 billion), built for himself. He lives in mansions, drives fast cars and three of his children – Cristiano Jnr and twins Mateo and Eva (16 months) – were born via paid-for surrogates.
Sponsorship and advertising deals are already being affected. At the time of going to print, his $1 billion (R15 billion) life contract with Nike was looking shaky. The sportswear giant, who’s collaborated with the footballer for 15 years, has said it’s deeply concerned by the allegations.
But Ronaldo doesn’t seem concerned. “My clear conscious [sic] will thereby allow me to await with tranquillity the results of any and all investigations,” he tweeted.
‘I blame him, and myself for signing that thing’
Kathryn Mayorga (LEFT) says Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo (ABOVE) raped her after they met at a Las Vegas club in 2009 (FAR LEFT).
Cristiano’s girlfriend, Georgina Rodriguez, is standing by her man. The soccer star has a daughter with her and three other kids who were born via surrogates.
ABOVE: On Twitter, Cristiano strongly denied the rape claims made by Kathryn Mayorga, calling rape an “abominable crime”. LEFT: Cristiano and Kathryn, a former model and dancer, met at the Rain nightclub which was located in the Palms casino resort in Las Vegas.