Cristiano Ronaldo has spoken publicly for the first time about the rape allegations that swirl around him. The Juventus star is back in Manchester for a Champions League game on Tuesday evening against his former club.
Speaking publicly for the first time since allegations of rape surfaced, Cristiano Ronaldo defended himself at a press conference in Manchester.
Ronaldo, who is preparing to face former club Manchester United in the Champions League, said that he and his lawyers are confident and that "the truth always wins."
I'm not going to lie in this situation," Ronaldo said at a news conference at Manchester United's stadium, Old Trafford, on Tuesday.
"I'm very happy. My lawyers, they are confident and of course I am, too. The most important thing is I enjoy my football, I enjoy my life. The rest, I have people who take care of my life. Of course, the truth always wins."
Ronaldo, a global superstar, has been accused of rape in the United States. Kathryn Mayorga filed a civil lawsuit in September in Nevada claiming Ronaldo raped her in his Las Vegas hotel room in 2009. Police also reopened an investigation into the allegation at her request.
Ronaldo's attorney, Peter S. Christiansen, declined to comment but issued a statement on October 10 denying wrongdoing by his client.
The Portugal captain had previously confronted the allegations in an Instagram video posted on October 3, hours after the suit was filed. "Fake. Fake news," the five-time world player of the year said at that time.
Christiansen has branded documents that led to media reports about the rape claim "complete fabrications" and asserted that the encounter in a Las Vegas hotel penthouse bedroom was consensual. Attorneys for Mayorga have challenged Ronaldo's legal team to prove that documents are false.
Ronaldo, who joined Juventus from Real Madrid earlier this year, responded to questions about his status as a role model. "I know I am an example. I know, 100 percent, on the pitch and off 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 with me," he added, before saying with a smile: "I'm very, very well."
mds/dv (AP, AFP)