Cristiano Ronaldo has been accused of rape. The football player and his agent deny the allegation.
The incident allegedly took place in a $1,000-per-night Las Vegas hotel penthouse in 2009, according to 34-year-old Kathryn Mayorga.
Der Spiegel, the German publication which reported the story, says Ronaldo's lawyers paid Mayorga $375,000 to "never speak about that night."
But Mayorga felt empowered to break the agreement in light of the post "Me Too" era.
Her new lawyer also doubts the agreement is legally binding.
The mother of Kathryn Mayorga, the 34-year-old woman accusing Cristiano Ronaldo of raping her in a Las Vegas hotel in 2009, says the alleged incident "never left" her daughter, who would "completely disintegrate" when she saw him on billboards over the years that followed.
Der Spiegel, the German publication that reported Mayorga's story, claimed that Ronaldo paid the alleged victim $375,000 to "never speak about that night." But her new legal representative doubts the agreement is legally binding.
Ronaldo's agent and adviser Jorge Mendes said the story was "journalistic fiction" according to a Der Spiegel article published in April last year.
The incident is alleged to have taken place shortly after the pair met on June 12, 2009, in the VIP section of the nightclub Rain, at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. It was the same summer Ronaldo left Manchester United for Real Madrid CF, in what was a world record soccer transfer at that time.
Mayorga, who was 25 years old, talked with Ronaldo during the night. They then reportedly went to Ronaldo's $1,000-per-night penthouse at the Hotel Palms Place. It is in the bedroom where Mayorga claims the rape took place. Ronaldo, meanwhile, claims the sex was consensual, according to a Der Spiegel report last week.
Recalling the alleged incident, Mayorga told Der Spiegel that Ronaldo "begged" her to touch him.
When she declined, she said that he promised he would "let her go" if she kissed him — so she did.
This only made his advances get stronger, according to Mayorga, who claims he then tried to remove her underwear, "jumped" on her, and raped her. He did not wear a condom, she says.
She says that even after the alleged assault, Ronaldo wouldn't let her leave and was calling her "baby, baby."
Mayorga informed the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police department of the incident in a phone call recorded at 2.16 p.m. on June 13, 2009, the following day. She did not reference Ronaldo by name, but noted that he was an athlete, a public figure.
Ronaldo, his lawyers, and a mediator sought an out-of-court settlement with a "young American woman" in 2010, according to a Der Spiegel report published in 2017. The publication's story last month added that she signed the deal and agreed to the payoff "out of fear for herself and her family," adding that is was also "out of impotence, the inability to stand up to him."
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For many years she claims to have remained silent, but says she felt empowered to tell her story in a post "Me Too" era eight years after the incident is alleged to have taken place.
But the story, and Mayorga, have not gone away and in September 2018, she told Der Spiegel that she has "always wondered" whether Ronaldo — one of the most valuable soccer players on the planet — had ever sexually abused other women.
Her mother, Cheryl, told Der Spiegel that the incident "never left" her daughter.
"Every day, she lives it. There were times when she would call me and he would be on a billboard or whatever, and she would just completely disintegrate.
"Having to walk into a store to get a pint of milk, and you've got his picture everywhere. He's the soccer god that everybody thinks is just perfect and flawless. And she can't even get out of bed some days. It's just wrong. We're behind her 100 percent."
When Business Insider contacted Gestifute, Ronaldo's management company, for comment, a representative forwarded us the following statement from Ronaldo's lawyers, which is available on the company's website, adding that this is "all for now."
Written by Professor Dr. Christian Schertz, attorney-at-law, the statement reads: "The reporting in Spiegel is blatantly illegal. It violates the personal rights of our client Cristiano Ronaldo in an exceptionally serious way.
"This is an inadmissible reporting of suspicions in the area of privacy. It would therefore already be unlawful to reproduce this reporting.
"We have been instructed to immediately assert all existing claims under press law against Spiegel, in particular compensation for moral damages in an amount corresponding to the gravity of the infringement, which is probably one of the most serious violations of personal rights in recent years."
In a recent Instagram live video, Ronaldo also dismissed the allegations as "fake news."
According to AP, he said: "You want to promote by my name. It’s normal. They want to be famous, to say my name. But it is part of the job. I am a happy man and all good."
While there have been no other official statements, Der Spiegel wrote that Ronaldo has denied the accusations and claims "the sex was consensual."
AP, meanwhile, reported that Ronaldo is being sued by a woman in Nevada for hiring a "team of fixers" to "obstruct the criminal investigation and trick" her into keeping quiet over a rape in 2009.
Las Vegas police confirmed to AP on Monday that they have reopened a sexual assault case from 2009 brought by the woman named in the lawsuit.
"As of now this is an ongoing investigation and no further details are being released at this time," police spokesman Aden OcampoGomez told AP.
The case continues, but Der Spiegel believes Ronaldo will eventually "have to revisit the case and speak about what happened on that night in Las Vegas nine years ago."
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