October 3, 2018 / 2:54 PM / 12 days ago

Ronaldo denies accusations of 2009 Las Vegas rape

LISBON (Reuters) - Football player Cristiano Ronaldo on Tuesday denied rape allegations levelled against him, saying his conscience was clear and that he would calmly await the results of any investigation.

“I firmly deny the accusations being issued against me. Rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything that I am and believe in,” the world-famous athlete wrote in a tweet.

His agents Gestifute also sent the same statement by Ronaldo in an email to Reuters.

“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,” he said. “My clear conscience will thereby allow me to await with tranquillity the results of any and all investigations.”

Lawyers for Kathryn Mayorga, who sued Ronaldo in a district court in Clark County, Nevada on Thursday, said the soccer star has 20 days from the filing of the lawsuit to respond. Mayorga alleges that Ronaldo raped her in 2009 in a Las Vegas hotel penthouse suite.

Mayorga has left Las Vegas to escape the attention on her case, her lawyers said at a news conference on Wednesday, adding the assault has caused her severe mental and emotional damage. She was not at the news conference.

“She has decided not to make herself available to the media and stay out of the public because of her emotional state,” attorney Leslie Stovall told the news conference. “It is not pleasant for her.”

Her lawyers said they are considering whether to release documents related to the case including police reports, medical records, and an out-of-court settlement that included a non-disclosure agreement about the incident.

Mayorga has also been seeking to void the $375,000 settlement she alleges she was coerced into signing to keep quiet, according to the complaint seen by Reuters and according to Mayorga’s lawyer.

The lawsuit, which seeks more than $200,000 in damages, names as defendants Ronaldo and an unnamed team of fixers described as “personal reputation protection specialists” hired to make the situation go away.

Lawyers for Ronaldo, one of the world’s best-known sports stars, on Friday threatened to sue German magazine Der Spiegel that published “blatantly illegal” accusations by Mayorga.

Der Spiegel’s deputy editor-in-chief, Alfred Weinzierl, told Reuters on Sunday that the magazine had worked professionally, laid out the evidence and stood by its story, which it said was allowed under Germany’s press law.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police said on Monday an incident report with the number listed in Mayorga’s lawsuit was filed on the night of the alleged attack, and said the case was reopened last month. They declined to say whether the athlete was the subject of an investigation.

Police had no immediate comment on Ronaldo’s statement.

Ronaldo has been named football player of the year five times and transferred to the Italian team Juventus from Spain’s Real Madrid this summer for 100 million euros ($116 million).

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - World Cup - Round of 16 - Uruguay vs Portugal - Fisht Stadium, Sochi, Russia - June 30, 2018 Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo reacts REUTERS/Jorge Silva/File Photo

Reporting By Andrei Khalip; Additional reporting by Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas; Editing by Axel Bugge, Bill Tarrant and Clive McKeef

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