Ronaldo calls rape 'abominable', denies charges

Ronaldo calls rape 'abominable', denies charges

Cristiano Ronaldo. Reuters file photo.

Cristiano Ronaldo on Wednesday denied accusations made by a former American model that he raped her in a Las Vegas hotel in 2009 and justified his conscience.

 Lawyers for his accuser Kathryn Mayorga later hit back, saying that their client had been "very consistent" in her reporting of the incident.

This incident has threatened to tarnish the reputation of the Portuguese superstar, arguably the world's best footballer.

"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 33-year-old Juventus forward.

"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," Ronaldo said.

"My clear conscious (sic) will thereby allow me to await with tranquillity 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 complaint filed last month with the district court in Nevada, of raping her on June 13, 2009.

Las Vegas police this week said they are reopening a case filed on that date but could not identify the victim or the alleged perpetrator by name.

Mayorga's lawyers held a news conference in Las Vegas to discuss the case.

Penthouse suite

Attorney Leslie Stovall told the reporters that his client, who had suffered years of trauma as a result of the alleged attack, had found the courage to speak out. He even extended his gratitude to the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and assault at the hands of powerful men.

"The MeToo movement and the women who have stood up and disclosed sexual assaults has given Kathryn a lot of courage and has enabled her to come forward," Stovall said.

He argued that in the context of the case, the statute of limitations on both criminal and civil action should be set aside.

Mayorga alleged that she was pressured into signing a nondisclosure agreement in 2010 to keep the rape secret and seek at least USD 200,000 in penalties and damages.

The complaint was first reported by the German magazine Der Spiegel. Lawyers for Ronaldo have reported being threatened to sue the magazine over the story.

In the suit, Mayorga said that 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.

She  had accepted an invitation to join Ronaldo and others in his penthouse suite to "enjoy the view of the Las Vegas strip." - 'No, no, no' -

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 wanted to leave, Ronaldo pulled her into a bedroom and anally 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 that the assault left her with "severe emotional and bodily injuries including 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 USD 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."

The unidentified "fixers" were named as co-defendants.

Ronaldo is a five-time winner of FIFA's men's player of the world.

The Portuguese striker, a married father of four, left Real Madrid this year to join Juventus for 100 million euros.