Cristiano Ronaldo — one of the most renowned athletes in the world — has been accused of rape. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner and the UEFA Champions league all-time top goalscorer is being sued over alleged rape in a Las Vegas hotel room back in 2009. The woman, Kathryn Mayorga, claims Cristiano raped her in a hotel room, as she repeatedly told him to stop. Her lawsuit claims she received a $375,000 payment in exchange for her silence. She seeks to void the settlement and agreement on the terms that Ronaldo and his team took advantage of her fragile state in 2009 and forced her to sign the agreement.
They met inside the Rain nightclub inside Palms Hotel and Casino on June 13, 2009. According to her lawsuit, Mayorga was pulled into a hotel room by Cristiano as he asked for oral sex. She refused, and he then proceeded to rape her as she screamed begging him to stop. She reported the incident to the police and went to the hospital for a sexual assault examination on the same day, as stated by the lawsuit. Mayorga had remained silent over the past years in fear of public humiliation.
Ronaldo has responded to the recent allegations through social media. On Friday September 28th, he responded to a question regarding the incident stating, “What they said today, fake — fake news. They want to promote by my name. It’s normal. They want to be famous — to say my name. Yeah but it’s part of the job. I’m (a) happy man and all, all good”. He also tweeted on October 3, stating “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”. His lawyers have also denied the allegations.
The allegations could prove to be a big blow to Ronaldo’s many endorsement deals with companies such as Nike and EA Sports. Many of his fans and others among the soccer community have given their support for the soccer star. His current soccer club, Juventus, has also backed the player, stating he has shown “professionalism and dedication”. The Las Vegas police have opened up an investigation and are looking into the matter, however the chances are most likely low of Ronaldo getting charged given the event happened 9 years ago. The legal battle between Ronaldo and Mayorga is expected to be lengthy with an expected resolution months away.