Ronaldo to sue over shock rape claim
FOOTBALL star Cristiano Ronaldo is set to sue German magazine Der Spiegel over "blatantly illegal" claims by an American woman claiming he raped her nine years ago.
Kathryn Mayorga, 34, went public for the first time today in the publication to claim that the Juventus forward raped her in Las Vegas in 2009.
Ronaldo, 33, has vehemently denied these claims and said that the sex was consensual.
He was said to have paid her more than $500,000 (£287,000) to ensure she would not speak about the allegations - but her lawyer is now challenging the alleged agreement.
Ronaldo's lawyer Christian Schertz said in a statement to Reuters last night that the Der Spiegel report was "inadmissable reporting of suspicions in the area of privacy".
Der Spiegel said the rape allegedly took place in June 2009 in a hotel room in Las Vegas, according to Mayorga lawyer Leslie Mark Stovall.
Mayorga claims Ronaldo raped her anally, but Ronaldo says the sex was consensual.
Afterwards, the magazine claims, he asked her if she was in pain and later claimed he was a "good guy" except for the "1 per cent".
Mayorga's lawyer's legal claim is said to rely in part on a document, which includes Ronaldo's description of what happened.
Stovall claims Ronaldo and Mayorga reached an out-of-court agreement.
It said, according to Stovall, that she had pledged never to speak of the accusation again and Ronaldo paid her the sum.
Stovall, said in a video published online by Der Spiegel: "Kathryn was sexually assaulted in June 2009 by an individual named Cristiano Ronaldo."
Stovall did not immediately respond to email requests from Reuters for comment on the report and Mayorga was not available for comment.
But Stovall told Der Spiegel he had filed a civil complaint seeking to declare the nondisclosure agreement void.
"The purpose of this lawsuit is to hold Cristiano Ronaldo responsible within a civil court of law for the injuries he has caused Kathryn Mayorga and the consequences of those injuries," he said.
However, Ronaldo's lawyer Schertz said he would seek compensation from Der Spiegel for "moral damages in an amount corresponding to the gravity of the infringement".
He said it was "probably one of the most serious violations of personal rights in recent years".
The magazine's deputy editor-in-chief, Alfred Weinzierl, told Reuters Der Spiegel had repeatedly written to Ronaldo's management and lawyers about the allegations before publishing.
"We sent written questions, to which there were no answers. Nobody sued us in connection with earlier Ronaldo reports," he said in an email to Reuters.
Mayorga told Der Spiegel she no longer felt bound by the nondisclosure agreement.
Ronaldo is one of the biggest names in world sport.
He has been named player of the year five times and transferred to Juventus from Real Madrid this summer.
The Italian club declined to comment on the Der Spiegel report.