Photo: Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images
International soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo has been publicly accused of rape by a Las Vegas woman, according to German publication Der Spiegel. Kathryn Mayorga, who filed a lawsuit Friday in Clark County, says Ronaldo raped her in a Vegas hotel in 2009 while she repeatedly screamed no.
Mayorga alleges that Ronaldo hired a team of fixers to coerce her into signing a $375,000 settlement and a nondisclosure agreement after the assault in 2009. Besides the alleged rape, the lawsuit’s claims against Ronaldo include intentional infliction of emotional distress, coercion and fraud, and abuse of a vulnerable person. Though the allegations were reported in Der Spiegel in 2017, Mayorga has not come forward publicly or provided details about the assault until now.
The former model and elementary school teacher told Der Spiegel in an interview that the assault happened on June 12, 2009; she said she met Ronaldo at the VIP area of Rain — a Vegas nightclub belonging to the Palms Casino Resort, where he was staying. “He just came up to me … grabbed my arm, and he was like: ‘You! Come with me!’ I was like, Are you joking?” she told Der Spiegel. When she said she didn’t want to go with him, he laughed at her, got her a drink, and introduced her to his entourage, she said. He later texted her inviting her and her friends to a party at his hotel room, but he and his entourage were in the lobby waiting for them, saying the party had already ended. “He’s like, ‘We’re going to do our own party,’” Mayorga told Der Spiegel. “I pull [my friend] Jordan aside and I think I said to her: ‘Let’s just take a picture and then let’s go.’ There’s actually a really nice view.”
At the suite, Mayorga said, everyone jumped in the Jacuzzi, but she didn’t want to ruin her dress, so Ronaldo offered her shorts and a T-shirt to wear. She went to the bathroom, which was attached to one of the bedrooms, to change, when Ronaldo walked in “with his penis hanging out of his shorts,” she told Der Spiegel. “Basically he begged me to touch his penis for 30 seconds,” she said. “When I wouldn’t touch it, he begged me to suck it. Like, what an idiot! … he’s a frickin’ loser and a creep. He was like, ‘I’ll let you go if you give me a kiss.’ I said, ‘Okay, I’ll kiss you but I’m not going to touch your nasty penis.’” After that, she added, “He starts to come on to me very strong. And he starts to do stuff to me and touch me and grab me and go down on me. I pushed him away and kept saying, ‘No.’”
When Mayorga got up to leave with a friend, she said Ronaldo pulled her back into the room. “I turned away. He tried to take my underwear off. I turned away from him and curled up into a ball. And I was holding my vagina. And that’s when he jumped on me.” She recalls saying, “No, no, no, no,” before he raped her.
“After he assaulted me, he wouldn’t let me leave again. And he was calling me ‘Baby, baby.’ He gave me this look, this guilty look. Almost like he felt bad. I don’t remember but I’m pretty sure he said ‘Sorry’ or ‘Are you hurt?’ And by this time, he’s … on his knees.” He insisted, she said, that he was “a good guy” except for the “one percent.” In the lawsuit, Mayorga claims Ronaldo said “he was sorry, he was usually a gentleman.”
That same day, she reported the incident to the police and went to the hospital for a sexual-assault examination, according to the lawsuit. Though she initially did not name Ronaldo out of fear, she did weeks later in a police interview — before being contacted by a detective, who told her she would be subjected to retaliation, and that her actions would be described as extortion attempts. The nurse who examined her said the same thing, Mayorga alleges in the lawsuit.
When the sexual-assault allegations were first reported in 2017, Ronaldo’s representatives denied them, releasing a statement that said “the article is nothing but a piece of journalistic fiction. The newspaper has based their entire narrative on documents which are unsigned and where the parties are not identified.”
However, Der Spiegel has since received several documents, some of which it says are signed by Ronaldo himself. In one 27-page document, according to the report, Ronaldo is quoted saying, “She said no and stop several times.” Mayorga did not previously come forward, she said, out of fear of retribution after signing the NDA.
After the recent interview was published, Ronaldo’s lawyer called it “blatantly illegal.” Ronaldo called the claims “fake — fake news” in an Instagram Live post from Friday, writing, “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 happy man and all, all good.” He also issued a denial statement on Twitter Wednesday, referring to his “clear conscious” [sic].
In mediation discussions with Ronaldo’s representatives, the lawsuit alleges, they told Mayorga they were attempting to compensate her for the assault, and that agreeing to the settlement meant she could not speak to the police. In reality, it says, his team was trying to obstruct a criminal investigation and diminish Mayorga’s credibility.
In the lawsuit, she described the mediation process “as re-experiencing the sexual assault,” feeling “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.”