Wednesday, 20 February, 2019

Accuser in Cristiano Ronaldo rape claim took 'courage' from #MeToo

Kristopher Love | 04 October, 2018, 20:03

His absence from the national team means he will miss the UEFA Nations League game against Poland on October 1 and a friendly against Scotland in Glasgow three days later.

Kathryn Mayorga, a 34-year-old teacher who was an aspiring model at the time of the alleged assault, claims Ronaldo raped her in a bathroom at the Palms Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas in the early hours of June 13, 2009.

Ronaldo will not play for the Portugal national team in its two upcoming games, according to an Associated Press report Thursday morning.

Ronaldo's lawyers say reporting of the allegations and details of the settlement in the German publication Der Spiegel was "blatantly illegal".

Writing on Twitter, Ronaldo said: "I firmly deny the accusations being issued against me. Rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything that I am and believe in", the five time Ballon d'Or victor wrote in a tweet.

Santos said the decision was taken after a three-way conversation between him, Ronaldo and the head of the Portuguese FA.

"My clear conscious (sic) will thereby allow me to await with tranquillity the results of any and all investigations".

Gomes said at the news conference that he also believes Ronaldo is innocent of the allegations.

The 33-year old soccer star reportedly met with Portugal coach Fernando Santos and Portuguese federation president Fernando Gomes and all agreed it was best for him to step away for at least a few games.

Under pressure from Ronaldo's "fixers", Mayorga settled the case "in exchange for a payment of $375,000 and non-disclosure of the sexual assault", the lawsuit said.

Ronaldo has made 154 appearances for Portugal and is their all-time top scorer.

Costa, who withdrew from the squad last month for personal reasons, came off injured during Atletico's 3-1 win over Club Bruges in the Champions League on Wednesday, although it remains unclear if he has omitted this time due to injury.