Civil lawsuit claims soccer star raped woman

A Las Vegas woman has publicly come forward with rape allegations against soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

Posted: Oct 1, 2018 2:54 PM
Updated: Oct 1, 2018 3:36 PM

A woman has accused Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the world's biggest soccer stars, of raping her in a Las Vegas hotel room in 2009.

Kathryn Mayorga says the Portuguese footballer, who now plays for Italian club Juventus, raped her while she repeatedly screamed no, according to a lawsuit filed Friday in Clark County, Nevada.

After the attack, according to the lawsuit, Ronaldo apologized, "stating he was sorry, he was usually a gentleman." The lawsuit alleges that Ronaldo told his represenatives that "she said 'no' and 'stop' several times."

Mayorga's lawsuit accuses Ronaldo, 33, and his team of taking advantage of her fragile emotional state to coerce her into signing a settlement and nondisclosure agreement in 2009. She claims she received $375,000 in exchange for her silence. Her lawsuit seeks to void the settlement and agreement.

When reached by CNN, Mayorga's attorney declined to comment.

Ronaldo's representatives denied the rape allegations when German publication Der Spiegel first reported them in 2017. After the outlet broke news of the lawsuit Friday in an interview with Mayorga, Ronaldo's lawyer called the reporting "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," lawyer Christian Schertz said in a statement.

Ronaldo appeared to dispute the claims in an Instagram live post on Friday: "What they said today, fake -- fake news. 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."

The alleged attack

Mayorga met Ronaldo at the Palms Hotel and Casino on June 13, 2009, the complaint says. Ronaldo invited her, her friend and others to his penthouse suite. According to Mayorga's lawsuit, Ronaldo asked her to join the group in a jacuzzi and gave her shorts and a T-shirt to wear.

As Mayorga changed in a bathroom, she said Ronaldo approached her, exposed himself and asked her for oral sex. Mayorga said she refused, but that Ronaldo pulled her into a bedroom and raped her as she screamed, "No, no, no."

The same day, she reported the incident to police and went to the hospital for a sexual assault examination, the lawsuit says.

Initially, she refused to identify Ronaldo to police, fearing public humiliation, her complaint says. Weeks later, when she named him in a police interview, a detective told her that she would be subjected to retaliation and her actions portrayed as extortion attempts, according to the lawsuit. A nurse who examined her said the same thing, she says in the lawsuit.

"The psychological trauma of the sexual assault, the fear of public humiliation and retaliation and the reiteration of those fears by law enforcement and medical providers left plaintiff terrified and unable to act or advocate for herself," the lawsuit claims.

Meanwhile, Ronaldo had retained a team of "fixers" that the lawsuit calls "personal reputation protection specialists" and are unnamed defendants. The lawsuit alleges they monitored Mayorga, her friends and family, and law enforcement to "develop and implement a strategy" to prevent or delay public disclosure of the allegations and criminal prosecution of Ronaldo. The team communicated with Mayorga's lawyer at the time, who agreed to private mediation with them. Mayorga's lawyer did not follow up with Las Vegas police, according to the lawsuit.

The settlement

The lawsuit accuses Ronaldo of battery for sodomizing her. Additional claims against him and his representatives include intentional infliction of emotional distress, coercion and fraud, and abuse of a vulnerable person.

In mediation discussions, Ronaldo's representatives led her to believe they were attempting to compensate her for her injuries, and that agreeing to the settlement precluded her from cooperating with police. In reality, the lawsuit claims, his team was attempting to obstruct a criminal investigation and erode Mayorga's credibility, thus diminishing her chances of pursuing a claim for civil damages. The allegations form the basis of Mayorga's claims of coercion and fraud, racketeering and civil conspiracy, and abuse of process.

Her family, who lives in Las Vegas, attended mediation to provide her with emotional support and advice. But they were excluded from discussions by Ronaldo's team and the mediator, according to the lawsuit.

Knowing she was a "vulnerable person," his team reinforced the threat of public humiliation if she or anyone else publicly disclosed her allegations or cooperated with law enforcement, her complaint says. They threatened to portray her as having consented to sex and then making a false claim so she could extort Ronaldo for money.

Mayorga described mediation "as re-experiencing the sexual assault," an ordeal marked by "extreme fearfulness, complete helplessness and eventually a sense of passivity where she would do anything just to be able to leave/escape/avoid revisiting the sexual assault by continuing the mediation," the lawsuit says.

The aftermath

Over the years that Mayorga maintained her silence, her emotional health suffered under the weight of post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the lawsuit. She says she struggled to maintain relationships or hold down a job.

Then, a sports website leaked copies of documents and communications between Ronaldo and his team relevant to the mediation to Der Spiegel, which published a detailed account of the allegations in April 2017. Mayorga's lawsuit claims that she obtained them and handed them over to Las Vegas police in August. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department did not reply to a request for comment over the weekend.

One of the purported documents, quoted in the lawsuit, calls the settlement "incredibly favorable" given the nature of Mayorga's claims and the potential impact they could have on his personal and professional reputation, including endorsement opportunities. And, the document says, it avoided the potentially "catastrophic effect" of not letting him travel in the United States.

Ronaldo's representatives forcefully denied Der Spiegel's account and threatened legal action against the publication. They called the account a "journalistic fiction" that contained "unattributable and unsubstantiated allegations" that were "untruthful and false," according to the lawsuit. Their denials form the defamation claims in Mayorga's lawsuit.

Mayorga did not participate in the article and was not named in it. In a later interview published by Der Spiegel on Saturday, in which she was identified for the first time, she said that she had followed the online reaction to the original story closely. She had taken notice of comments about the athlete's desirability, she told the magazine, including statements to the effect of, "As if Ronaldo even needs to rape a woman."

Those statements mirrored thoughts she once had about Ronaldo, she told the magazine. But she wasn't going to be silent any more.

Ronaldo has been considered one of the world's best -- if not the best -- player for a decade. He's played for the top clubs, including Spain's Real Madrid and England's Manchester United, and joined Juventus this summer for a reported $117 million transfer fee.

He won 2017's Ballon d'Or, given to the best male player in the world. It marked his fifth time hoisting the trophy, a feat matched only by Argentina/Barcelona star Lionel Messi. He counts a lifetime Nike deal among his many endorsements.

The father of four is well-known for his philanthropy, especially when it comes to children's causes. Last year, he ran afoul of Spanish authorities, who accused him of tax evasion. He settled the case in June, paying a $21.8 million fine, according to Spanish newspaper El Mundo.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 98447

Reported Deaths: 2072
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin27557932
Ramsey11167323
Dakota7692126
Anoka6281137
Stearns409424
Washington391855
Scott264833
Olmsted253528
Nobles197916
Blue Earth17366
St. Louis172542
Wright17017
Carver14467
Clay142441
Rice13478
Mower13446
Sherburne117714
Kandiyohi10563
Winona92018
Lyon7334
Waseca7228
Benton5633
Steele5552
Crow Wing55418
Nicollet54717
Freeborn5464
Watonwan5354
Chisago5171
Todd5072
McLeod5022
Le Sueur4764
Otter Tail4694
Beltrami4605
Martin44611
Goodhue3899
Pine3550
Douglas3522
Itasca35215
Polk3274
Isanti3191
Becker2842
Carlton2791
Morrison2702
Dodge2610
Pipestone23810
Chippewa2321
Cottonwood2290
Meeker2132
Wabasha2060
Sibley2023
Yellow Medicine1982
Brown1962
Cass1864
Rock1810
Redwood1783
Murray1742
Mille Lacs1693
Renville1618
Jackson1531
Unassigned15352
Faribault1470
Swift1441
Fillmore1330
Houston1300
Kanabec1288
Roseau1260
Koochiching1233
Hubbard1221
Pennington1201
Lincoln1180
Stevens1071
Pope1000
Aitkin841
Big Stone830
Wadena730
Wilkin713
Lac qui Parle681
Grant634
Lake600
Norman560
Marshall531
Mahnomen491
Red Lake451
Traverse340
Clearwater310
Lake of the Woods241
Kittson120
Cook70

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 87828

Reported Deaths: 1332
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk16113264
Woodbury559768
Johnson517927
Black Hawk454192
Linn4163114
Story348517
Dubuque340242
Scott309528
Dallas282938
Pottawattamie220139
Buena Vista200312
Marshall179434
Sioux17073
Wapello134157
Webster131714
Plymouth118221
Clinton113921
Muscatine112855
Crawford11086
Cerro Gordo106421
Warren9696
Jasper87034
Des Moines8068
Henry7734
Marion7728
Tama75332
Carroll6955
Lee6527
Wright5971
Dickinson5426
Boone5268
Bremer5067
Washington48511
Delaware4413
Louisa43415
Mahaska42720
Lyon3754
Jackson3583
Floyd3573
Franklin35218
Clay3434
Winneshiek3408
Benton3381
Hamilton3343
Winnebago32313
Hardin3111
Poweshiek3118
Buchanan2921
Jones2893
Kossuth2860
Butler2792
Emmet27510
Chickasaw2701
Shelby2701
Clarke2693
Clayton2683
Sac2670
Allamakee2656
Guthrie2649
Harrison2593
Cherokee2572
Cedar2531
Fayette2382
Madison2342
Grundy2294
Iowa2221
Palo Alto2080
Hancock1992
Mitchell1970
Humboldt1943
Howard1927
Mills1911
Page1910
Calhoun1883
Osceola1770
Cass1762
Pocahontas1662
Monona1621
Monroe16211
Lucas1566
Appanoose1443
Union1423
Jefferson1401
Taylor1341
Davis1284
Ida1281
Fremont1220
Keokuk1191
Van Buren1181
Worth1090
Greene1050
Montgomery995
Audubon891
Wayne882
Adair731
Decatur670
Ringgold532
Adams330
Unassigned140
Rochester
Broken Clouds
51° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 51°
Mason City
Few Clouds
54° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 54°
Albert Lea
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 54°
Austin
Broken Clouds
54° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 54°
Charles City
Overcast
54° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 54°
Winds pick up for Wednesday
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events