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Ronaldo ‘firmly’ denies allegations, calls rape ‘abominable’

The accuser's lawyer said that the #MeToo movement gave her a lot of courage to speak up.

Las Vegas: On Wednesday, Cristiano Ronaldo denied accusations by a former American model that he raped her in a Las Vegas hotel in 2009 and said his conscience is clear.

“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. 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,” wrote the 33-year-old Juventus forward.

“My clear conscious (sic) will thereby allow me to await with tranquillity the results of any and all investigations,” he tweeted. Initially, Ronaldo said the allegation, first reported in German magazine Der Spiegel, was “fake news”.

Kathryn Mayorga, 34, of Las Vegas, accused Ronaldo, in a 32-page complaint filed in September with a district court in Nevada, of raping her on June 13, 2009. Mayorga was inspired to speak out by the #MeToo movement, her lawyer has said.

BBC quoted her lawyer Leslie Stovall saying, “The MeToo movement and the women who have stood up and disclosed sexual assaults has given Kathryn a lot of courage.” He also said that a psychiatrist had diagnosed Mayorga with post-traumatic stress disorder.

In a lawsuit, Mayorga said that she met Ronaldo at the Rain Nightclub in the Palms Hotel and Casino, and that he raped her in his penthouse suite.

Der Spiegel said Mayorga, 34, had filed a report with Las Vegas police shortly after the alleged incident. But the following year, she reportedly reached an out-of-court settlement with Ronaldo involving a $375,000 (£288,000) payment for agreeing never to go public with the allegations.

Her lawyers are now seeking to declare the non-disclosure agreement void. Las Vegas police confirmed on Tuesday that they had initially investigated a complaint in June 2009, but added they had no suspect in the case. Las Vegas police also said that they were reopening a case filed on that date but did not identify the victim or the alleged perpetrator by name.

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