Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo has dismissed as “fake news” allegations from a US woman that he raped her in a Las Vegas hotel room in 2009.
“What they said today? Fake, fake news,” the Portuguese player said in an Instagram video. “They want to promote [themselves by using] 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.”
His comments come after German magazine Der Spiegel published an interview with Kathryn Mayorga in she publicly identified herself as his accuser. The same magazine last year published a report stating Ronaldo had reached a $375,000 settlement with an unnamed woman in 2010. Her lawyer told Der Spiegel they are now seeking to nullify that agreement.
“I’ve had like these serious breakdowns,” Mayorga told Der Spiegel. “And again, blaming of the rape. And I blame him, and I blame myself for signing that thing.”
In a statement provided from Ronaldo’s agent Gestifute, the Juventus player’s lawyer, Christian Schertz, said they would sue the German magazine, calling the report “blatantly illegal:
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.
Alfred Weinzierl, deputy editor-in-chief of Der Spiegel, told Reuters they reached out to Ronaldo’s representatives prior to publishing, but received no response.
“Nobody sued us in connection with earlier Ronaldo reports,” he said.