US sportswear brand Nike has said it is “deeply concerned” over rape allegations against Juventus footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, and added it would “continue to closely monitor the situation”.
Kathryn Mayorga has alleged that Ronaldo raped her nine years ago in a penthouse suite at Hotel Palms Place in Las Vegas. Ronaldo denies the allegations.
Nike described the allegations as “disturbing”, but the footballer, who previously dismissed reports as “fake news”, now saying he “firmly denies” the allegations. EA Sports, of which Ronaldo is also a brand ambassador, also called reports “concerning” and said it was also “closely monitoring the situation”.
I firmly deny the accusations being issued against me. Rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything that I am and believe in. Keen as I may be to clear my name, I refuse to feed the media spectacle created by people seeking to promote themselves at my expense.
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) October 3, 2018
The allegations, made by Mayorga, were first reported in German magazine Der Spiegel, which said Mayorga and Ronaldo signed a £288,000 out of court settlement in 2009 in which Mayorga agreed to not go public with her allegations.
A document relating to the court settlement obtained by the same paper featured a description of the night from Ronaldo’s perspective which featured the words: “She said no and stop several times.” Ronaldo’s lawyers have previously said they intend to sue Der Spiegel over its reporting of the story.
Las Vegas police confirmed on Tuesday (2 October) that they had previously investigated a complaint in June 2009, but had no suspect in the case. A Las Vegas police statement read: “At the time the report was taken, the victim did not provide detectives with the location of the incident or suspect description.
“As of September 2018, the case has been reopened and our detectives are following up on information being provided.”
The day after Ronaldo denied allegations Juventus released a statement which read: “Cristiano Ronaldo has shown in recent months his great professionalism and dedication, which is appreciated by everyone at Juventus.
“The events allegedly dating back to almost 10 years ago do not change this opinion, which is shared by anyone who has come into contact with this great champion.”
The events allegedly dating back to almost 10 years ago do not change this opinion, which is shared by anyone who has come into contact with this great champion. 2/2
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) October 4, 2018