Real sue over hush payoff claim

Cristiano Ronaldo has been in turmoil since a 2009 case involving rape allegations against him was reopened by Las Vegas police last week.
Cristiano Ronaldo has been in turmoil since a 2009 case involving rape allegations against him was reopened by Las Vegas police last week.PHOTO: AFP

Portuguese daily faces lawsuit for alleging club coerced Ronaldo to pay off his accuser

MADRID • Real Madrid said on Thursday it had filed a lawsuit against a Portuguese newspaper which accused the Spanish giants of pushing Cristiano Ronaldo to hush up an alleged rape case.

The club took legal action against Correio da Manha after the paper reported on Wednesday that "Real Madrid pressured him to sign" a non-disclosure accord and pay compensation to his accuser, Kathryn Mayorga.

"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 could not have taken action on a matter of which it had no knowledge," it said in a statement.

The Portuguese, who left Real over the summer to join Italian champions Juventus in a deal worth €100 million (S$159.5 million), has been in turmoil since a 2009 case involving rape allegations against him was reopened by Las Vegas police last week.

The case was originally closed after he signed a confidentiality agreement in 2010 with Mayorga, a former model, who received a pay-off in return for her silence.

Mayorga, now 34, alleged she had been raped on June 13, 2009, just days after Ronaldo, 33, had signed a contract with Real in a mega transfer deal from Manchester United.

The Portuguese newspaper reported that Real, wishing to avoid scandal, pressed him to compensate Mayorga to keep her silent.

 
 
 

His lawyer insisted on Wednesday the player did not rape the woman in a Las Vegas hotel and that their sexual encounter was "completely consensual".

"Once again, for the avoidance of doubt, Cristiano Ronaldo's position has always been, and continues to be, that what happened in 2009 in Las Vegas was completely consensual," lawyer Peter Christiansen said in a statement.

Ronaldo admitted to signing the non-disclosure accord but his lawyer insisted he simply wished to put an end to the allegations.

Christiansen also said documents reproduced by media outlets in recent days purportedly quoting the player and including details of the non-disclosure accord involving a US$375,000 (S$516,500) sum to his accuser were false.

He said "documents that allegedly contain statements by Cristiano Ronaldo and were reproduced in the media are pure invention" .

Der Spiegel, the German magazine which published the story, released a statement which said, in part: "Our story is carefully researched. We have hundreds of documents from different sources that substantiate our reporting."

Meanwhile, Portugal's Bernardo Silva scored an individual goal as their new-look side recovered to win 3-2 away to Poland in the Nations League with an impressive performance on Thursday.

Andre Silva's strike and a Kamil Glik own goal put the European champions ahead by half-time, after Krzysztof Piatek had given Poland an early lead, before Bernardo Silva netted early in the second half. Poland substitute Jakub Blaszczykowski pulled a goal back but it was not enough.

Portugal, who are rebuilding after a second-round exit at the World Cup, left out old favourites like Joao Moutinho, Jose Fonte and Ricardo Quaresma. Captain and all-time leading scorer Ronaldo was also absent by what coach Fernando Santos said was mutual consent.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 13, 2018, with the headline 'Real sue over hush payoff claim'. Print Edition | Subscribe