Cristiano Ronaldo addresses rape allegation
Speaking publicly for the first time since being accused of rape, Cristiano Ronaldo has defended himself against a rape allegation and said he is confident the truth will come out in the case.
The football superstar has been accused of rape in the United States. Kathryn Mayorga filed a civil lawsuit last month in Nevada claiming Ronaldo raped her in his Las Vegas hotel room in 2009. Police have also reopened an investigation into the allegation at her request.
Ronaldo's lawyer, Peter Christiansen, issued a statement on October 10th denying wrongdoing by his client.
"I'm not going to lie in this situation," Ronaldo said at a news conference ahead of a Champions League match between Juventus and former club Manchester United at Old Trafford. "I'm very happy. My lawyers, they are confident and of course I am, too. The most important, is I enjoy the football, I enjoy my life. The rest, I have people who take care of my life.
"Of course, the truth is always coming in the first position."
Christiansen declined comment. Attorneys Leslie Mark Stovall and Larissa Drohobyczer, representing Mayorga, did not immediately respond to messages.
Ronaldo previously had confronted the allegations in an Instagram video posted Oct. 3, hours after the suit was filed.
Asked about his status as a role model, the 33-year-old Ronaldo said: "I know I am an example. I know, 100 percent. On the pitch and outside the pitch. So I am always smiling, I am happy man. I'm blessed that I play in a fantastic club, I have a fantastic family, I have four kids, I am healthy. I have everything."
"So the rest, it doesn't interfere on me," he added, before saying with a smile: "I'm very, very well."
Ronaldo is returning to Old Trafford for the second time since leaving United to join Real Madrid in 2009. The first time was for the second leg of a Champions League last 16-match between United and Madrid in 2013, when he was given a standing ovation by United fans and introduced as the "magnificent seven" — a reference to the number he had at the English club.
Ronaldo scored the winning goal that night, eliminating United.
The Portugal forward has won the Champions League five times, once with United in 2008 and then at Madrid in 2014, '16, '17 and this year.
"I remember what it was like in Manchester. My history, we won lots of trophies, cups, leagues and the Champions League. I remember the support of the fans. (Then-United manager) Sir Alex (Ferguson) is someone I will never forget. He was a huge lift in my career.
"When I knew we were playing Manchester United, it was a huge thing for me."