LOS ANGELES • Cristiano Ronaldo has denied allegations of rape by a former model who accused the Portuguese football star of attacking her in his Las Vegas hotel penthouse suite in 2009.
The Juventus player has called the accusations "fake news" but on Monday, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department confirmed in a statement that it had reopened an investigation into the matter.
"What they said today, fake - fake news," the 33-year-old said in an Instagram Live post.
"They want to promote by my name. It's normal. They want to be famous - to say my name.
"Yeah but it's part of the job. I'm (a) happy man and all, all good."
In a 32-page complaint filed last month with a district court in Nevada, Kathryn Mayorga of Las Vegas accused Ronaldo of raping her on June 13, 2009.
NOTABLE SPORT STARS INVOLVED IN SEXUAL ASSAULT CASES
The American boxer served three of six years for rape in 1992.
The English footballer was jailed six years in 2016 for grooming and sexual activity with a girl aged 15.
The Brazilian footballer was last year sentenced to nine years in jail for gang rape. He has appealed.
The American basketball star was accused of sexual assault. He denied it but admitted to adultery. The case was dropped in September 2004.
The Dutch footballer was accused of gang rape with three of his friends but was cleared in 1998 owing to insufficient evidence.
Now 34, she alleges that she was pressured into signing a non-disclosure agreement to keep the alleged rape secret and is seeking no less than US$200,000 (S$274,800) in penalties and damages.
The complaint was first reported by Der Spiegel. Ronaldo's legal team have reportedly threatened to sue the German magazine, calling the story a "journalistic fiction" that contained "unattributable and unsubstantiated allegations" that were "untruthful and false".
Mayorga told Der Spiegel that she had chosen to go public with the accusations in the wake of the #MeToo movement that has exposed the sexual abuse of women by powerful men.
Now a teacher, she said she met Ronaldo, then 24 years old, on the evening of June 12, 2009 at the Rain nightclub at the Palms Hotel and Casino where she was working.
The lawsuit said she accepted an invitation to join him and others in his suite to enjoy the view.
She was invited to join guests in a hot tub but declined because she did not have a bathing suit.
Ronaldo offered her clothing and then followed her into a bathroom where she was going to change. The complainant said that after she refused his demand to perform oral sex and said she wanted to leave, the footballer pulled her into a bedroom and raped her while she screamed "no" repeatedly.
"When Cristiano Ronaldo completed the sexual assault of the plaintiff, he allowed her to leave the bedroom stating he was sorry, he was usually a gentleman," the complaint added.
The suit also said Mayorga reported the alleged assault to the police the same day, but refused to name her assailant, and underwent an examination at a local hospital.
Vegas police confirmed in a statement without naming Ronaldo that it had responded to a call reporting a sexual assault on that date.
"At the time the report was taken, the victim did not provide detectives with the location of the incident or suspect description. A medical exam was conducted," it said.
"As of September 2018, the case has been reopened and our detectives are following up on information being provided by the victim."
Mayorga said the assault had left her in shock for three months and with "severe emotional and bodily injuries including but not limited to anal contusions, post-traumatic stress disorder, and major depression". She added that she developed an alcohol problem and was suicidal.
Allegedly under pressure from Ronaldo's "fixers", she settled the case "in exchange for a payment of US$375,000 and non-disclosure of the sexual assault", the lawsuit said.
It claimed the agreement should be voided because she was "incompetent and lacked the mental capacity to participate in negotiations and a settlement of her claims due to the injuries suffered during the initial sexual assault".
Georgina Rodriguez, whose daughter Alana is Ronaldo's fourth child, has posted a message of support for her partner on Instagram. She wrote: "You always transform the obstacles that are put in your way into impulse and strength to show how great you are. Thank you for making us enjoy each game.
"Always more and better. I love you @cristiano."
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE GUARDIAN