The woman accusing Cristiano Ronaldo of sexual assault has been interviewed twice by law enforcement officers in recent months and plans to cooperate further, her attorney said Wednesday, as the Las Vegas police department has reopened its investigation into the case that centers around one of the sports world’s most famous athletes and an alleged assault from 2009.
Kathryn Mayorga, who has filed a civil lawsuit against Ronaldo alleging that he raped her in a Las Vegas penthouse suite nine years ago, is still in “active therapy” to deal with the emotional impact of the alleged assault, according to her lawyer, but she has been “given a lot of courage” by the #MeToo movement that has helped her speak out.
“Her decision to pursue this matter is important,” Leslie Stovall, the attorney, said during a news conference Wednesday, “because she is now advocating for herself.
“She wants justice, of course,” Stovall said, when asked what Mayorga wants out of this legal action. “She would want to not be the person who has had to live with this for the last eight or nine years.”
Ronaldo has denied the allegations, starting in 2017 when his lawyers dismissed a story from German outlet Der Spiegel, that first reported on the incident (without identifying Mayorga by name). Der Spiegel’s report was largely informed by documents it obtained from Football Leaks, an anonymous group similar to WikiLeaks that uncovers and releases private or sensitive documents related to the international soccer world.
This week, when attention on the case resurfaced following Der Spiegel’s publication of another story that included an on-the-record interview with Mayorga, Ronaldo first issued a vague denial in an Instagram Live post — referencing “fake news” and saying that people want to “be famous” by leveraging his celebrity — before he issued a statement on Twitter in which he refuted Mayorga’s allegations.
“I firmly deny the accusations being issued against me,” Ronaldo said. “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 [sic] will thereby allow me to await with tranquility the results of any and all investigations.”
Mayorga filed her lawsuit against Ronaldo on Sept. 27. In it, she describes — in graphic detail — the alleged assault, which she says included anal rape, as well as the emotional aftermath in which she says Ronaldo’s “team” obstructed and influenced the police investigation, and threatened Mayorga with public ridicule in an attempt to push her into a quick settlement.
Suffering from debilitating emotional distress, the lawsuit claims, Mayorga ultimately signed a $375,000 settlement agreement that required she never speak of any interactions she might have had with Ronaldo. Her current lawyers, who were not involved in that settlement, now say the agreement should be voided.
Stovall also said there are unanswered and alarming questions about the police department’s alleged lack of vigor in investigating the allegations, implying that Ronaldo’s group of “fixers” influenced the police department’s activity.
“I found no explanation for the metropolitan police department’s failure to continue that investigation,” he said. “I don’t know why, but I’m curious to find out.”
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