The rape claim that could lose Ronaldo everything
Football legend’s reputation – and freedom – are under threat
He has the world at his feet. But Cristiano Ronaldo’s glittering football career – not to mention his £350million fortune and happy family life – was hanging in the balance last week, following reports that he raped a former hotel hostess in 2009. Disturbingly, Kathryn Mayorga claimed she kept the alleged assault quiet after being paid £288,000 by the striker – but decided to go public after suffering years of mental torment as a result.
In an interview with German magazine Der Spiegel, Kathryn, 34, asserted that the striker raped her in his hotel room in Las Vegas, and had told her, “Ninetynine per cent of me is a good guy, I just don’t know about the other one per cent.” She said she reported the attack to Nevada police immediately, but didn’t name her assailant. Then, a year later, she accepted “hush money” from his lawyers because, she says, she was “terrified” and “didn’t want my name out there”.
Kathryn has since been attempting to overturn the settlement, saying she was inspired to speak out by the #Metoo movement, and was seeking damages from Ronaldo. In response, the footballer, 33, went on Instagram to brand the claims “fake, fake news”. His lawyers also took legal action against the magazine, calling the reports, “One of the most serious violations of personal rights in recent years.”
Now, despite strongly denying the allegations, the reports have put Ronaldo’s gilded life in serious jeopardy. There is no time limit on rape prosecutions in Nevada, meaning he could face a possible life sentence in prison. Then, there’s the effect the claims will have on his reputation as the greatest footballer in the world, as well as his relationship with model Georgina Rodríguez, mother of his one-yearold daughter, Alana. The striker is also father to Cristiano Junior, eight, and one-year-old twins Eva Maria and Mateo, believed to be via surrogate. In the aftermath of the reports, the football player – who often posts pictures with his family on social media – said of his accusers, “They want to promote [themselves] by using my name.”
Whatever the outcome, the claims are out there and it remains to be seen if Ronaldo’s reputation is damaged forever.
Kathryn Mayorga pictured with Ronaldo on the night of the alleged assault
With his girlfriend Georgina Rodríguez and his kids