Magazine de­fends case against Ron­aldo

Sunday Times - - Sport Soccer -

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

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

Lawyers rep­re­sent­ing the Ju­ven­tus player said this week that doc­u­ments had been “com­pletely fab­ri­cated”.

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

Ver­sions of the truth

“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 mid­week, 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”.

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

“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.

Apol­ogy and pay­ment

“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”.

May­orga’s lawyers have now called for any doc­u­ments to be handed over to “the ap­pro­pri­ate law-en­force­ment agen­cies” to help re­solve any dis­crep­an­cies. They added they wanted to re­view any ev­i­dence that showed doc­u­ments had been al­tered or fab­ri­cated.

Der Spiegel believes Ron­aldo’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives 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 outof-court set­tle­ment with Ron­aldo in­volv­ing a $375,000 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.” —

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