LISBON — Lawyers for the Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo said Friday that they would sue a German magazine that published what they called “blatantly illegal” accusations by an American woman who says she was raped by Ronaldo in 2009.
One of Ronaldo’s lawyers, Christian Schertz, said in a statement that the report in the magazine, Der Spiegel, was “an inadmissible reporting of suspicions in the area of privacy” and that he would seek legal redress for his client from the magazine.
The statement was provided by Ronaldo’s agent, the firm Gestifute, in response to a request for comment on Der Spiegel’s article, which was published online Friday. Gestifute did not answer any specific questions about the contents of Der Spiegel’s report, which Reuters was unable to independently verify. Der Spiegel first reported on the allegation in April 2017.
Ronaldo, one of the biggest names in world sports, is a five-time world player of the year. He transferred to Juventus in the Italian league from Real Madrid this summer; the Italian club declined to comment on Der Spiegel’s report.
The magazine said the rape was alleged to have taken place in June 2009 in a hotel room in Las Vegas, according to Leslie Mark Stovall, the lawyer for Kathryn Mayorga, the woman who made the accusation. Ronaldo and Mayorga reached an out-of-court settlement, according to Stovall and the magazine.
In it, Mayorga agreed to a confidentiality agreement in exchange for a $375,000 payment from Ronaldo.
Stovall did not immediately respond to email requests for comment on the article, and Mayorga did not answer telephone calls to her home.
Stovall told Der Spiegel, however, that he had filed a civil complaint seeking to declare the nondisclosure agreement void.
Mayorga told Der Spiegel she no longer felt bound by the agreement as she suffers from the consequences of the night nine years ago. “I’ve had, like, these serious breakdowns,” she told Der Spiegel. “And again, blaming of the rape. And I blame him, and I blame myself for signing that thing.”