Cristiano Ronaldo has been accused of sexual assault by Kathryn Mayorga, who has opened up a lawsuit against the soccer player stemming from a 2009 incident in Las Vegas. Mayorga’s attorney claims she was coerced into a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) shortly following the incident, and that the NDA should now be legally considered void.
Mayorga told her story to German outlet Der Spiegel on September 29 before filing a civil claim against Ronaldo, seeking to void the NDA she signed in 2010. The Las Vegas police department has also reopened its criminal investigation. Ronaldo and his attorneys have denied Mayorga and Der Spiegel’s claims.
This is a timeline of the important events in the story, from 2009 to present day.
June 13, 2009: Kathryn Mayorga reports rape to police, doesn’t identify Cristiano Ronaldo by name
Mayorga contacted Las Vegas police at 2:16 p.m. the afternoon following her assault. She told the dispatcher that she did not want to identify her assailant because he was a public figure. Police drove her to a local hospital, where she had a rape kit examination.
January 12, 2010: Ronaldo, Mayorga’s lawyers agree to terms of NDA
Mayorga, her attorney, and attorneys for Cristiano Ronaldo sign an out-of-court settlement. Both parties agree to not discuss the incident in a non-disclosure agreement, and Ronaldo’s team agrees to pay Mayorga $375,000. Ronaldo is not present at the signing of the agreement.
April 19, 2017: Der Spiegel publishes allegations against Ronaldo
Eight years later, Der Spiegel publishes its first report about the accusations of rape against Ronaldo. The German outlet claims that it got the documents outlining the allegations from Football Leaks, which up until that point had primarily focused on unveiling the financial secrets of soccer. In that report, Mayorga is identified by the pseudonym “Susan K.”, as she had made it clear in both police reports and settlement documents that she wished to keep her identity secret.
September 29, 2018: Mayorga comes forward with her story
A year and a half after Der Spiegel’s first story about Ronaldo, Mayorga decided to reveal her identity and tell her side of the story. This happened in conjunction with Der Spiegel and Football Leaks discovering more documents pertaining to the case and subsequent settlement. In the story, Mayorga gives a graphic description of her assault.
Der Spiegel claims to have acquired a questionnaire from Ronaldo’s attorneys that Ronaldo filled out, in which he allegedly says “she said no and stop several times.”
Ronaldo threatens to sue Der Spiegel
Within hours of the story’s publication, Ronaldo’s lawyer Christian Schertz called the story “blatantly illegal” and said it was “an inadmissible reporting of suspicions in the area of privacy.” He said Ronaldo would seek compensation from the outlet.
September 30, 2018: Der Spiegel editor responds with details of reporting
Following Schertz’s legal threat, Der Spiegel’s sports editor Christoph Winterbach posts a 25-tweet thread detailing the reporting that his team did to ensure the accuracy of their story. It includes screenshots of documents mentioned in the article.
This is a thread about the rape allegations vs. @Cristiano: About our research @derSpiegel, about Ronaldo's reaction and a little insight into why the alleged victim Kathryn Mayorga speaks out about the case nine years later. This is the story btw: https://t.co/fwv26PhCSx 1/24— Christoph Winterbach (@derWinterbach) September 30, 2018
October 1, 2018: Mayorga sues Ronaldo, seeking to void NDA
Mayorga’s new lawyer, Leslie Mark Stovall, claims that she had inadequate representation in 2009 and 2010, and was bullied into settling. He files a lawsuit in Clark County, Nevada, seeking to have the 2010 settlement and NDA voided.
October 2, 2018: Las Vegas police reopen case
Las Vegas police confirm that they investigated a rape complaint in June of 2009, but could not follow through because “the victim did not provide detectives with the location of the incident or suspect description.” With Mayorga now willing to give details, the case has been reopened.
October 3, 2018: Ronaldo issues his public denial
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
My clear conscious will thereby allow me to await with tranquillity the results of any and all investigations.— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) October 3, 2018
October 4, 2018: Ronaldo left out of Portugal squad
Portugal coach Fernando Santos confirms that Ronaldo would not play for Portugal for the rest of 2018, ruling him out of November’s matches as well. Santos refuses to confirm or deny that Ronaldo was omitted due to the allegations against him.
Ronaldo sponsors express concern; Juventus does not
Two of Ronaldo’s biggest sponsors, Nike and EA Sports, prepare to distance themselves from Ronaldo.
Exclusive: Nike 'deeply concerned' by Cristiano Ronaldo rape claims.— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) October 4, 2018
Statement to @AP from Ronaldo's biggest sponsor: "we are deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations and will continue to closely monitor the situation."https://t.co/dwdQ7SnfNQ
NEW from Ronaldo sponsor @EA Sports. “We have seen the concerning report that details allegations against Cristiano Ronaldo. We are closely monitoring the situation, as we expect cover athletes and ambassadors to conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with EA's values"— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) October 3, 2018
His club, Juventus, takes a different and rather callous position.
.@Cristiano Ronaldo has shown in recent months his great professionalism and dedication, which is appreciated by everyone at Juventus. 1/1— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) October 4, 2018
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
October 10, 2018 — Ronaldo’s lawyer claims documents were fabricated
Peter Christensen, who Ronaldo hired to represent him in 2009, releases a statement claiming that documents cited in Der Spiegel’s story are not authentic.
The statement is in Portuguese. Below, a rough translation via Google Translate:
The documents that allegedly contain statements by Cristiano Ronaldo and were reproduced in the media are pure inventions.
By 2015 dozens of entities (including law firms) in different parts of Europe were attacked and saw a lot of information on their electronic equipment being stolen by a hacker. This hacker then tried to sell such information, having now a media outlet, irresponsibly publishing some of the stolen documents, significant parts of which were altered and/or completely forged.
This was refuted a day later in a Twitter thread by Der Spiegel sports editor Christoph Winterbach.
There was a statement released yesterday, on behalf of @Cristiano #Ronaldo, concerning the rape allegations and our reporting at @derSpiegel. #CR7's lawyer claimed that we quoted manipulated documents in our story. This is our answer. 1/11— Christoph Winterbach (@derWinterbach) October 11, 2018
Portuguese outlet claims Real Madrid forced Ronaldo to settle; club will sue
Portuguese outlet Correio da Manha runs a story claiming that Real Madrid forced Ronaldo to agree to a settlement and non-disclosure agreement with Mayorga. Real Madrid says that this is false and promises to take legal action against the outlet.
This timeline will be updated as more information becomes available.