Soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has been accused of committing rape, and the allegation is already impacting his career. The Juventus superstar is off the roster for Portugal's next four games.
Despite pulling Ronaldo, ESPN reports Juventus coach Fernando Santos defended his star player against the accusations, which have come around to haunt Ronaldo again after his attorneys settled the case nine years ago.
The Guardian reported on claims leveled by a woman named Kathryn Mayorga.
According to Mayorga, she met Ronaldo at a Las Vegas club in 2009 and he allegedly raped her in a hotel room. Ronaldo's lawyers eventually negotiated a $375,000 payout and a non-disclosure agreement. Inspired by the #Metoo movement, Mayorga voided the NDA and elected to make her accusation public.
Mayorga's lawyers say she suffered significantly from the alleged assault and from coming forward:
Her lawyers added that Mayorga has left Las Vegas to escape the attention on her case, adding the alleged assault has caused her severe mental and emotional damage. She was not at the news conference.
“She has decided not to make herself available to the media and stay out of the public because of her emotional state,” Stovall said. “It is not pleasant for her.”
Her lawyers added they are considering whether to release documents they say relate to the case including police reports, medical records, and an out-of-court settlement that apparently included a non-disclosure agreement about the incident. They claimed that a psychiatrist has determined she suffers post-traumatic stress and depression because of the alleged 2009 attack in Las Vegas.
Ronaldo followed his tweet denying any wrongdoing and stating that rape is "an abominable crime" with this affirmation.
The Guardian report ends on an ominous note. Las Vegas police reportedly said that "As of September 2018, the case has been reopened and our detectives are following up on information being provided."
Despite Ronaldo's absence from upcoming matches, Coach Santos said "nothing is going to stop Ronaldo from being in the squad."
This is far from over, and it could have a long-lasting impact on Ronaldo's career even if he's eventually exonerated.