Kathryn Mayorga, the woman accusing soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo of sexual assault, filed a civil lawsuit against the Portugal star to pursue justice, according to her attorney.
Leslie Stovall spoke during a news conference Wednesday, as detailed by ESPN. It came a day before Ronaldo was left off of Portugal’s national team for two upcoming matches.
Ronaldo accused of rape in Las Vegas in 2009
Mayorga has been interviewed by law enforcement twice in recent months and will cooperate further with the Las Vegas police department’s reopening of its investigation into her case. The department announced the decision Monday.
Mayorga, 34, alleges that Ronaldo, 33, raped her in a penthouse suite in 2009. She told the German news magazine Der Spiegel that he invited her to his hotel room and forced her to have anal sex with him.
Der Spiegel first reported it in 2017 without using her name. Last week it published an interview with Mayorga, who went to the police after it happened and had a rape kit done.
Ronaldo denied the allegations on his Twitter account Wednesday.
Mayorga’s civil lawsuit filed in pursuit of justice
Mayorga filed the suit Sept. 27 and detailed the assault as well as claims Ronaldo’s “team” threatened her with public ridicule and influenced the police investigation.
She signed a $375,000 settlement agreement, according to the suit, that required her silence on the matter though her lawyers said it should now be voided.
“Her decision to pursue this matter is important because she is now advocating for herself,” Stovall said in Wednesday’s press conference.
“She wants justice, of course,” he said. “She would want to not be the person who has had to live with this for the last eight or nine years.”
Mayorga influenced by #MeToo movement
Stovall said Mayorga was influenced by the #MeToo movement to speak out. Christiano Ronaldo was also accused of rape in a separate incident in 2005 at a London hotel. He was arrested and questioned by Scotland Yard, but the case was dropped over insufficient evidence.
“The #MeToo movement was very important to Kathryn and her decision to consult with us and to go forward in this case,” Stovall said. “I think she looks at the women who are involved in the #MeToo movement as heroes.”
Ronaldo left off Portugal team
Ronaldo will not play for the Portugal national team in its two upcoming games, according to an Associated Press report Thursday morning.
Head coach Fernando Santos said the decision was a result of a conversation with Ronaldo and Fernando Gomes, the head of the Portuguese Football Federation. He did not disclose details on the conversation or the decision.
Gomes voiced his public support for Ronaldo earlier that morning.
Portugal will play its second game in the UEFA Nations League on Oct. 11 in Poland and then plays a friendly against Scotland Oct. 14.
Santos said Ronaldo will also not be called up for November’s international games. He was also left off the squad in September. Santos said Ronald will play for the team again eventually, according to the AP.
His current team, Juventus FC, also released a comment Thursday.
Companies contracted with Ronaldo make statements
At least three companies in endorsement or partnership agreements with the global superstar have spoken to the allegations so far.
EA Sports released a statement Wednesday saying it had “seen the concerning report.”
“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,” a spokesperson said.
Ronaldo is on the cover of the latest edition of the company’s FIFA soccer video game.
Nike released a statement to the Associated Press on Thursday afternoon saying it was “deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations and will continue to closely monitor the situation.” The two have been in partnership since 2003.
Save the Children said it was “disheartened” by the news reports and is working to get more information