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Lawyers representing Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo have said they will sue German newsmagazine Der Spiegel for publishing what they call “blatantly illegal” accusations by an American woman that Ronaldo raped her in 2009.
In a statement sent to the media Friday, Ronaldo’s lawyer Christian Schertz said the Der Spiegel report was “an inadmissible reporting of suspicions in the area of privacy,” and that he would seek legal redress for his client from the magazine.
Ronaldo is one of the biggest names in world sports. A five-time player of the year, he recently made headlines when he transferred from Spanish club Real Madrid to Italian squad Juventus for $116 million (100 million euros). Juventus has declined to comment on the Der Spiegel report.
In an Instagram live stream, Ronaldo briefly commented on the report, calling it “fake news” and saying his accusers “want to be famous (by) saying my name.”
Christano Ronaldo denied the allegations during an Instagram Live Story (from 2.25).
In its report, the German magazine, quoting a lawyer for the women, Kathryn Mayorga, says the rape allegedly took place in a hotel room in Las Vegas in June 2009. Mayorga’s lawyer, Leslie Mark Stovall, claims Ronaldo and Mayorga reached an out-of-court agreement under which Ronaldo paid her $375,000 in exchange for never speaking of the allegations again.
Der Spiegel reported that Stovall has filed a civil complaint seeking to declare the nondisclosure agreement void in order to pursue a civil case against Ronaldo.
Mayorga is quoted in the article as saying she no longer feels bound by the nondisclosure agreement as she continues to suffer from the consequences of the incident nine years ago.
“I’ve had like these serious breakdowns,” she told the magazine. “And again, blaming of the rape. And I blame him, and I blame myself for signing that thing,” Der Spiegel quotes her as saying.
The Hollywood Reporter was not able to independently verify any of the allegations.
In his statement, 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, which is probably one of the most serious violations of personal rights in recent years.”
Der Speigel‘s Deputy Editor-in-Chief Alfred Weinzierl told Reuters that the magazine had repeatedly written to Ronaldo’s management and lawyers about the allegations before publishing its report.
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