Cristiano Ronaldo rape case: #MeToo movement gave Kathryn Mayorga courage to speak out

Kathryn Mayorga, the woman who has accused Cristiano Ronaldo of rape, got the courage to speak out about the incident from 2009 from the #MeToo movement, her lawyer Leslie Stovall has said.

"The women who stood up and disclosed sexual assaults publicly have given Kathryn courage," Stovall said during a news conference on Wednesday, as quoted by Sky News.

Mayorga, a former teacher in the United States, claimed that Ronaldo had raped her at a Las Vegas hotel in 2009. In an interview to German magazine Der Spiegel published last week, the 34-year-old gave a detailed account of the incident that has forced her into depression.

Stovall said his client had considered suicide in the aftermath of the alleged rape.

Mayorga has reportedly left Las Vegas to escape the media attention that has been coming her way ever since the weekend edition of Der Spiegel was published.

Elaborating on why Mayorga wasn't at the news conference, her lawyer said: "This is an individual who suffers from major depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

"She has a lot of problems attributable to the 2009 sexual assault and it's been very difficult for her over the last eight or nine years.

"In dealing with Ms. Mayorga and her family we have been particularly careful and mindful of her emotional state."

Notably, the Las Vegas police have reopened the sexual assault investigation from 2009 at the request of the accuser, according to the BBC.

In 2010, Mayorga had reached an out-of-court settlement with Ronaldo after receiving a sum of $375,000 for not going public with the accusations, reports say.

However, her lawyers are seeking to void the non-disclosure agreement as they are questioning its legality.

Ronaldo 'firmly denies' accusations of rape

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo Reuters

Meanwhile, Ronaldo took to social media on Wednesday to deny the rape accusation.

"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," the Juventus star wrote on Twitter.

He added: "My clear conscious will thereby allow me to await with tranquillity the results of any and all investigations."

In her account to Der Spiegel, Mayorga had revealed that Ronaldo had exchanged numbers with her at a nightclub where she was employed in June 2009.

The Portuguese captain, she claims, had then asked her to come to Palms Place Hotel later in the night before raping her.

Mayorga even said that Ronaldo had apologised and even enquired if she was in pain after anally raping her.