The lawyer who has been hired to represent Cristiano Ronaldo has branded allegation of rape made against the player a “complete fabrication”.
Ronaldo has “vehemently” denied the rape allegation, saying he had “consensual” relations with his accuser.
The Portuguese football star has previously denied raping American woman Kathryn Mayorga in June 2009 in a Las Vegas hotel room after she made the claim 10 days ago.
In a new statement from his lawyer in the US, he admitted for the first time to having relations with Ms Mayorga, but that it was “consensual in nature”.
Peter Christiansen issued a statement in which he does not deny Ronaldo and Ms Mayorga reached a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) in 2010.
But it declares documents cited in media reports about the athlete’s encounter in 2009 were altered before being “irresponsibly published”.
A lawsuit filed on September 27 in Nevada state court seeks to void the NDA that Ms Mayorga’s lawyers say she signed while accepting $375,000 (£284,000) to keep quiet.
Full statement from Peter S. Christiansen on behalf of Cristiano Ronaldo:
‘I have been hired to represent Cristiano Ronaldo with respect to the recent civil complaint arising from events alleged to have occurred in 2009, all of which were the subject of a mutual release between the parties in 2010.
‘Given the breach of that agreement by the other side and the inflammatory accusations that have been lodged in the ensuing days as a result, Mr. Ronaldo feels compelled to no longer stand silent and in fact, is entitled under that agreement to respond proportionately in kind.
‘To be clear, Mr. Ronaldo vehemently denies all of the allegations in the complaint and has consistently maintained that denial for the last nine years.
‘The documents which purportedly contain statements by Mr. Ronaldo and have been reported in the media are complete fabrications. It is my understanding that in 2015, dozens of entities [including law firms] across many different industries throughout Europe were hacked and their electronic data was stolen and captured by a cybercriminal.
‘This hacker attempted to sell this data, and one media outlet has now irresponsibly published the stolen documents, significant portions of which were altered and/or completely fabricated. To absolve any doubt, Mr. Ronaldo has always maintained, as he does today, that what occurred in 2009 in Las Vegas was consensual in nature.
‘While Mr. Ronaldo does not deny the existence of the mutual agreement and release, his motivations for agreeing to that resolution have been twisted to say the least. Far from any admission of guilt or any ulterior motive, Mr. Ronaldo was advised to privately resolve the allegations against him in order to avoid the inevitable attempts that are now being made to destroy a reputation that has been built upon hard work, athleticism and honour. Unfortunately, he now finds himself embroiled in the type of litigation that is all too commonplace in America.
‘While Mr. Ronaldo is accustomed to being the subject of press attention that goes along with being famous, it is absolutely deplorable that any media outlet would support or advance such an elaborate and deliberate defamation campaign based on stolen, easily manipulated digital documents.
‘Mr. Ronaldo will leave future discussion of any and all legal matters to his attorneys here and in Europe. He is confident that the truth will survive this frenzy and the laws of Nevada will be upheld and enforced.’