Real Madrid on Thursday said they are taking legal action against Correio da Manha after the newspaper in Portugal published a story alleging that the Spanish Primera Division club obligated Cristiano Ronaldo to pay off Kathryn Mayorga after an alleged assault inside a suite at the Palms Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas in 2009.
The Portuguese daily, citing unnamed sources, alleges that Real Madrid, who Ronaldo was in the process of joining from Manchester United in June 2009, pressured their star forward to reach the out-of-court financial settlement agreed with Mayorga the following January.
On Wednesday, Ronaldo’s Las Vegas-based attorney said his client “vehemently denies all of the allegations” made in a lawsuit filed last month, and he described the encounter in June 2009 as “consensual in nature.”
“Real Madrid C. F. can today announce that the club has taken legal action against the Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manhã for publishing categorically false information in an effort to seriously damage the image of this club,” Real Madrid said.
“Real Madrid has absolutely no knowledge of any of the information that the newspaper published with regard to the player Cristiano Ronaldo, and therefore the club was unable to take action on a matter of which it had no knowledge. Real Madrid has demanded total rectification of the situation from the aforementioned newspaper.”
Mayorga alleges that Ronaldo raped her in his hotel room in the city on June 13 2009 — the out-of-court settlement was Jan 2010.
Ronaldo joined Madrid from Manchester United in a world record transfer during summer 2009, with the Old Trafford outfit accepting Real’s £80 million bid on June 11, and his presentation at the Bernabeu as a new Blancos player taking place on July 6.
Ronaldo, now 33, played for Real Madrid until the summer of 2018 when he joined Serie A club, Juventus.
Ronaldo’s attorney, Peter S. Christiansen, alleges that reports about the 2009 encounter were on electronic data leaks of documents that he said were stolen by a hacker from law firms and other entities in Europe and then put up for sale.
Ronaldo “is accustomed to being the subject of press attention that goes along with being famous,” Christiansen said in a statement, that also acknowledged that Ronaldo and Kathryn Mayorga reached a non-disclosure agreement in 2010 after their encounter in Las Vegas.
Mayorga, 34, a former model, filed a lawsuit on Sept. 27 in Nevada acknowledging that she accepted $375,000 to keep quiet about the encounter with Ronaldo in a hotel penthouse. Police have also re-opened an investigation.
The German weekly magazine, Der Spiegel, which first published the rape allegation against Ronaldo says it has “hundreds of documents” that substantiate its report and there is no reason to believe they are not authentic.
“We have no reason to believe that those documents are not authentic,” Der Spiegel said in a statement: “We have meticulously fact-checked our information and had it legally reviewed.”
Ronaldo has denied any wrongdoing. But some sponsors, including Nike and video game maker EA Sports, have expressed concern about the rape allegation.
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