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Cristiano Ronaldo denies rape allegation that left woman 'considering suicide'

By Opta
Juventus and Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo

Turin, October 4: Cristiano Ronaldo has "firmly denied" an allegation of rape brought by Kathryn Mayorga, whose fragile emotional state led to suicidal thoughts in the aftermath of the alleged attack, according to her lawyers.

The Juventus and Portugal star is accused by Mayorga of sexually assaulting her in a Las Vegas hotel in 2009.

Local police confirmed on Tuesday (October 2) that they had reopened an investigation from the same year, but did not name the victim or any suspects.

Mayorga's legal counsel outlined the impact they say the alleged assault has had on their client at a press conference on Wednesday (October 3), just hours after Ronaldo had stated his innocence on Twitter, describing rape as "an abominable crime".

Ronaldo initially described the claims, first reported by German publication Der Spiegel, as "fake news" via an Instagram video.

The 33-year-old then published a statement in which he hit out at a "media spectacle created by people seeking to promote themselves at my expense".

The statement on his official Twitter account read: "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.

"My clear conscious will thereby allow me to await with tranquillity the results of any and all investigations."

At a subsequent press conference in Las Vegas, an attorney working for Mayorga, Larissa Drohobyczer, described her client's fragile mental state following the alleged incident.

Drohobyczer said: "In 2017, Kathryn Mayorga was contacted by journalists seeking information regarding a 2009 sexual assault by Cristiano Ronaldo and the disclosure of information regarding the sexual assault.

"Kathryn retained Stovall & Associates concerned with the legal consequences of the disclosures, the circumstances in which the settlement agreement, and the non-disclosure was obtained in 2010, and the severe emotional problems she continued to suffer.

"At the time Kathryn retained Stovall & Associates she appeared to be emotionally fragile and frightened. She explained that since the 2009 sexual assault, she had experienced depression, intrusive thoughts, considered suicide, abused alcohol and had difficulty maintaining personal relationships and employment.

"Out of concern for Kathryn's psychological condition, Stovall & Associates referred her to a board-certified psychiatrist.

"Based upon his examination, diagnosed Kathryn as suffering post-traumatic stress disorder and major depression.

"In his medical opinion, the psychological injuries were caused by Cristiano Ronaldo's 2009 sexual assault," her lawyer claimed.

Another attorney, Leslie Stovall, said neither he, nor Mayorga, who has left the Las Vegas area to avoid attention, would play out the case on social media.

Stovall said: "I am not interested in responding to Twitter but I will say we have filed a complaint in a court of law and we look forward to presenting Miss Mayorga's case and having a jury of people living in this community considering the evidence and reaching a verdict.

"It isn’t important how Mr Ronaldo or his fans characterise what is going on because we are going to have an opportunity in a court of law to have people of this community decide."

Following the publication of Der Spiegel's article, and in addition to Ronaldo's denials, his lawyer has described the report as "blatantly illegal" and confirmed they will pursue action against the publication for "inadmissible reporting of suspicions in the area of privacy".

According to Der Spiegel, Mayorga first made a complaint of sexual assault in 2009 and subsequently reached an out-of-court settlement with Ronaldo. It is claimed by the magazine she was paid $375,000 as part of a privacy agreement, preventing her from going public with the allegations.

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    Story first published: Thursday, October 4, 2018, 6:10 [IST]
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