Juventus soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo took to Instagram Live on Sunday to call a 2009 rape allegation against him “fake news.”
According to Maya Oppenheim of the Independent, Ronaldo added, “They want to promote my name. It’s normal. They want to be famous to say my name, but it is part of the job. I am a happy man and all good.”
Ronaldo was responding to a report in German magazine Der Spiegel in which 34-year-old Kathryn Mayorga said he raped her in a Las Vegas hotel room nine years ago.
Ronaldo reportedly reached a $375,000 settlement with Mayorga in 2010 in exchange for agreeing to never go public with the allegations. Mayorga’s lawyers are reportedly attempting to void the non-disclosure agreement.
According to Oppenheim, Ronaldo has denied the allegations and said the sex with Mayorga was consensual.
Ronaldo’s lawyers released a statement calling Der Spiegel’s reporting “blatantly illegal” and saying they will seek “moral damages in an amount corresponding to the gravity of the infringement, which is probably one of the most serious violations of personal rights in recent years.”
The 33-year-old Ronaldo is in the midst of his first season at Juventus after spending the previous nine campaigns at Real Madrid.
He is a five-time winner of the Ballon d’Or, the award given to the top soccer player in the world, and Forbes listed him as the third-highest paid athlete in the world this year with an income of $108 million.