Cristiano Ronaldo is being asked by police in the U.S. to provide a DNA sample in an ongoing investigation of a Nevada woman’s allegation that he raped her in his Las Vegas hotel penthouse in 2009, the soccer star’s lawyer in Las Vegas said Thursday.
“Ronaldo has always maintained, as he does today, that what occurred in Las Vegas in 2009 was consensual in nature, so it is not surprising that DNA would be present, nor that the police would make this very standard request as part of their investigation,” Ronaldo’s lawyer, Peter S Christiansen, said in a statement.
Las Vegas police declined comment, said Officer Laura Meltzer, a department spokeswoman.
The police case was closed in 2009 when the alleged victim, Kathryn Mayorga, declined to name her assailant.
The police investigation was reopened at Mayorga’s request last August, shortly before the former model and schoolteacher filed a civil lawsuit in state court claiming that Ronaldo raped her and that she had been paid $375,000 to keep it secret.
Ronaldo is the subject of a criminal investigation by Las Vegas police.
In the past, Ronaldo’s lawyer has not denied his client reached an agreement with Mayorga, who says she came forward with her story in the wake of the #MeToo movement. “This agreement is by no means a confession of guilt,” Christiansen said in October 2018.
Mayorga’s lawyers, Leslie Mark Stovall, and Larissa Drohobyczer, said on Thursday they had previously been unaware of the DNA warrant.
Ronaldo has denied Mayorga’s allegations. “I firmly deny the accusations being issued against me,” he in October 2018. “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. My clear conscious [sic] will thereby allow me to wait with tranquillity the results of any and all investigations.”
The 33-year-old Ronaldo is one of the most famous athletes in the world. He is a five-time winner of the Ballon d’Or, an annual award for the best footballer in the world. He is also a national hero in Portugal and led his country to the European Championship title in 2016.