October 1, 2018 / 10:01 PM / 2 months ago

Nevada woman sues soccer star Ronaldo for alleged sexual assault

(Note: Please be advised that story contains descriptions of sexual violence)

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Serie A - Juventus v Napoli - Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy - September 29, 2018 Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo during the match REUTERS/Alberto Lingria/File Photo

(Reuters) - A Nevada woman has sued Cristiano Ronaldo and is participating in a police investigation of the global soccer star for an alleged rape at a Las Vegas hotel in 2009, according to a complaint filed by her lawyer.

Lawyers for Ronaldo, one of the world’s best-known athletes, on Friday threatened to sue a German magazine that published the accusation.

Kathryn Mayorga sued Ronaldo in a district court in Clark County, Nevada on Thursday, and is also seeking to void a $375,000 settlement she alleges she was coerced into signing to keep quiet, according to the complaint seen by Reuters and according to Mayorga’s lawyer.

On Monday, Ronaldo’s agent, Gestifute, said they had no comment beyond a Friday statement by Ronaldo’s lawyer Christian Schertz, who called the German magazine report “an inadmissible reporting of suspicions in the area of privacy.”

The lawsuit contends that Ronaldo met Mayorga at a Las Vegas nightclub in June 2009 and the next night invited a group of people, including Mayorga, back to the penthouse suite where he was staying.

That night, the lawsuit alleges, Ronaldo asked the woman to perform a sexual act on him in a bathroom as she was changing into attire to wear in a hot tub. He then pulled her into a bedroom and raped her as she screamed “no, no, no,” the lawsuit said.

“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 lawsuit said.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police on Monday said an incident report with the number listed in Mayorga’s lawsuit was filed on the night of the alleged attack, and said the case was reopened last month after the unidentified victim came forward with new information. They declined to say whether the athlete was the subject of an investigation.

Contacted late on Monday, Ronaldo’s representatives did not immediately return a request for comment about the reopening of the case by Las Vegas police.

Lawyers for the Portuguese athlete said in a statement on Friday they would sue German magazine Der Spiegel after it published “blatantly illegal” accusations by Mayorga. They did not respond to specific questions about the content of the Der Spiegel report.

Der Spiegel’s deputy editor-in-chief, Alfred Weinzierl, on Sunday said the magazine stood fully by its story.

“We have worked professionally as journalists, confronted, and laid out the evidence. Schertz claims that this is illegal. We say: It is allowed under Germany’s press law,” Weinzierl said in a statement to Reuters.

Leslie Stovall, Mayorga’s lawyer, said in a statement on Monday that his client wanted to “obtain justice by holding Cristiano Ronaldo accountable for his conduct.”

The lawsuit, which seeks more than $200,000 in damages, names as defendants Ronaldo and an unnamed team of fixers described as “personal reputation protection specialists” hired to make the situation go away.

Mayorga told Der Spiegel she no longer felt bound by the non-disclosure agreement as she suffers from the consequences of the night nine years ago.

Ronaldo has been named player of the year five times and transferred to Juventus from Real Madrid this summer for 100 million euros ($116 million). The Italian club declined to comment on the Der Spiegel report on Friday.

($1 = 0.8615 euros)

Reporting by Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas, Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware, Axel Bugge in Lisbon and Douglas Busvine in Frankfurt; editing by Bill Berkrot

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