“What they said today: Fake, fake news,” Ronaldo, 33, said in a video posted on Instagram. “They want to promote by my name. It’s normal. They want to be famous. It’s part of the job. I’m a happy man and all good.”
Der Spiegel said that Kathryn Mayorga of Las Vegas accused him of raping her nine years ago, when she was 25, in a hotel room. She said that she had agreed to an out-of-court settlement with him in which she was paid $375,000 and she agreed not to talk about her accusation.
Mayorga, now 34, has a new lawyer and the Las Vegas police have reopened the case, according to news reports. She has also filed a civil suit to have the nondisclosure agreement thrown out.
Ronaldo’s lawyer, Christian Schertz, says the soccer star plans to sue Der Spiegel for “moral damages.”
Schertz told BBC News that Der Spiegel’s reporting was “blatantly illegal” and “probably one of the most serious violations of personal rights in recent years.”
An American woman who accused Cristiano Ronaldo of rape in 2009 is speaking publicly about the incident for the first time. In an interview with German publication Der Spiegel, Kathryn Mayorga details the alleged assault, which she reported to police nine years ago in Las Vegas and which eventually resulted in an out-of-court settlement between the two parties. Ronaldo agreed to pay Mayorga $375,000, and she signed a non-disclosure agreement. Mayorga is now looking to void the previous settlement, and she filed a civil suit against the soccer star in Nevada last week
Ronaldo’s claim has been that he and Mayorga had consensual sex. In a Reuters story from Friday, one of Ronaldo’s lawyers called Der Spiegel’s report “blatantly illegal” and threatened to sue the German publication.
The Der Spiegel story is in German, but the magazine has published an abridged English version with Mayorga’s account. She says she met Ronaldo at Rain nightclub in the Palms Casino Resort. Later, Mayorga and her friend joined up with Ronaldo and his party and went to his penthouse suite at the Palms. There, she says, he pulled her into a bedroom and anally raped her while she protested and told him “no.”
Mayorga filed a police report the next day and was examined at a nearby hospital. She did not initially name Ronaldo as her assaulter, but described him to authorities as a professional athlete. According to Der Spiegel, she retained the services of a lawyer who “advised her not to go public.” Her attorney at the time contacted Ronaldo’s legal team, and the two parties hashed out a settlement during the following months.
Der Spiegel first reported about the settlement in 2017, while Mayorga was still anonymous. She has since retained a new lawyer, Leslie Mark Stovall, who argues that Mayorga “was not competent to enter into the agreement because of the psychological injury she sustained from the sexual assault … and that renders it voidable.” As a result, Stovall claims she is able to speak publicly.
In her interview with Der Speigel, Mayorga describes continued trauma from the alleged incident and her regrets about agreeing to the original settlement. ”I’ve had like these serious breakdowns,” she says. “And again, blaming of the rape. And I blame him, and I blame myself for signing that thing.”
According to documents provided to Der Spiegel, Ronaldo filled out a series of questionnaires for his legal team after the alleged assault in Las Vegas. In most of these forms, he insists the encounter was consensual. However, in an early document from September 2009, Ronaldo reportedly stated, “She said no and stop several times.” Stovall is also in possession of these documents.
According to Deadspin’s recounting of the Der Spiegel report, Mayorga “has felt empowered by the Me Too movement and other women’s bravery in naming and standing up to their assailants in sexual assaults. [And] she wants her case to receive public attention to discover if Ronaldo has ever done this to anyone else.”
Ronaldo currently plays for Juventus in Italy, and the club has not commented on the report. Der Spiegel says all their requests for interviews with the player have been denied. According to the publication, Mayorga has spoken with Nevada police “on several occasions” in recent weeks. The story also cites the state’s criminal code, which says accusations of sexual assault that have been documented by police “in time” do not fall under the statute of limitations