New Straits Times
Ronaldo denies hotel sex attack, calls rape ‘abominable’
LAS VEGAS: Cristiano Ronaldo on Wednesday denied accusations by a former American model that he raped her in a Las Vegas hotel in 2009 and said his conscience is clear.
Ronaldo’s denial came as lawyers for his accuser said they had obtained damning correspondence between the footballer and his legal team.
The case has threatened the reputation of the Portuguese superstar, arguably the world’s best footballer, with Las Vegas police this week saying they would reopen their file on the matter.
“I firmly deny the accusations being issued against me,” he tweeted in Portuguese and English.
“Rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything that I am and believe in,” said the 33year-old Juventus forward.
“My clear conscious (sic) will thereby allow me to await with tranquility the results of any and all investigations,” he added on his Twitter feed @Cristiano, which has nearly 75 million followers.
Mayorga, 34, of Las Vegas, accused Ronaldo, in a 32-page lawsuit filed last month with a district court in Nevada, of raping her on June 13, 2009.
Las Vegas police this week said they were reopening a case filed on that date but did not identify the victim or the alleged perpetrator by name.
Complicating matters, Jacinto Rivera, a spokesman for the department, told Mayorga did not identify Ronaldo by name at the time of her complaint and was “uncooperative.”
Mayorga’s lawsuit, however, said she had named the footballer to police “within weeks of the initial report.”
Larissa Drohobyczer, one of Mayorga’s lawyers, told reporters that whistle-blowing website Football Leaks had provided documents that showed correspondence between Ronaldo and his team of fixers around the time of the incident, which they are considering making public.
According to the alleged leak, Ronaldo told his fixers: “She said ‘no’ and ‘stop’ several times,” in his written correspondence to them.
Mayorga alleges she was pressured into signing a nondisclosure agreement in 2010 to keep the alleged rape secret and is seeking at least US$200,000 (RM800,000) in penalties and damages.
The complaint was first reported by the German magazine Der Spiegel. Lawyers for Ronaldo have reportedly threatened to sue the magazine over the story.
In the suit, Mayorga said she met Ronaldo, who was then 24 years old, on the evening of June 12, 2009 at the Rain Nightclub in the Palms Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
It said she accepted an invitation to join Ronaldo and others in his penthouse suite to “enjoy the view of the Las Vegas strip.”
She was invited to join guests in a hot tub but declined because she did not have a bathing suit, the complaint said.
Ronaldo offered her clothing and then followed her into a bathroom where she was going to change clothes, it said.
After she refused his demand to perform oral sex and said she wanted to leave, Ronaldo pulled her into a bedroom and raped her while she screamed “no, no, no,” according to the suit.
“When Cristiano Ronaldo completed the sexual assault of the plaintiff, he allowed her to leave the bedroom stating he was sorry, he was usually a gentleman,” it said.
The lawsuit said Mayorga reported the alleged assault to police the same day and was examined at a local hospital.
It said the assault left her with “severe emotional and bodily injuries including but not limited to anal contusions, post-traumatic stress disorder and major depression.”
Under pressure from Ronaldo’s “fixers,” Mayorga settled the case “in exchange for a payment of US$375,000 and non-disclosure of the sexual assault,” the lawsuit said.
It claimed the agreement should be voided because she was “incompetent and lacked the mental capacity to participate in negotiations and settlement of her claims due to the injuries suffered during the initial sexual assault.”
Ronaldo is a five-time winner of Fifa’s men’s player of the year award.
The Portuguese striker, a married father of four, left Real Madrid this year to join Juventus for €100 million