Why is nobody talking about Cristiano Ronaldo’s rape accusation?


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Why is nobody talking about Cristiano Ronaldo’s rape accusation?

There is even a document in which the soccer player admits that ‘she said no and stop several times’

Professional soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo is widely considered the most famous athlete in the world. He made $108 million this year alone, making him the tenth highest-paid celebrity in 2018. He also commands an enormous following on social media, with 142 million followers on Instagram, putting him ahead of social media giants like Kylie Jenner (116m) and world-famous celebrities like Beyonce (118m).

People all around the world revere him as a god, but the details of a recent lawsuit reveal he might be far from the picture-perfect icon that millions consider him to be. A civil complaint filed last Thursday by Kathryn Mayorga alleges Ronaldo raped her in a Las Vegas hotel room in 2009 and then paid her $375,000 to keep it a secret.

But why is such a shocking allegation against a superstar athlete so underreported?

Mayorga told Der Spiegel that she met Ronaldo while working as a model at a Las Vegas hotel

Photos from assorted news outlets depict the two of them meeting and flirting with each other. Mayorga claimed that he invited her and some friends to a party. However, she said that while changing into her swimsuit in the bathroom, Ronaldo suddenly barged in with his penis hanging out of his shorts and asked her to touch it.

Mayorga told Der Spiegel that she pushed him away and said no repeatedly, but he was persistent and continued to pressure her into engaging in sexual activity. According to Mayorga, he jumped on her while she screamed, "No, no, no, no" and he raped her anally without a condom and without lubricant. She said that after he raped her, he gave her a "guilty look" and insisted that he was a "good guy" except for the "one percent." Afterward, she called the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police and started to take legal action.

In the legal correspondence that ensued, Ronaldo himself admitted that "she said no and stop several times"

Mayorga's lawyer contacted Ronaldo's lawyer and submitted a list of hundreds of questions to Ronaldo. In a questionnaire from September 2009 that Der Spiegel obtained, Ronaldo himself responded and provided answers that seem to corroborate Mayorga's story.

"She said no and stop several times," Ronaldo wrote in response to the questionnaire. "I entered her from behind. It was rude. We didn't change position. 5/7 minutes. She said that she didn't want to, but she made herself available. But she kept saying 'No.' 'Don't do it.' 'I'm not like the others.' I apologized afterwards. She complained that I forced her."

Ronaldo ended up paying her a settlement of $375,000, which is how much he earned per week at the time. In turn, she signed a nondisclosure agreement that promised that she wouldn't pursue or discuss the case.

However, she told Der Spiegel that she decided to speak out recently in the wake of the #MeToo movement.

For his part, Ronaldo has denied these accusations. In an Instagram Live video, he said, "What they said today, fake—fake news. You want to promote by my name. It's normal. They want to be famous to say my name. Yeah, but it's part of the job. I'm a happy man, and all good."

Despite Ronaldo's global fame and a document that seems to contain a confession to the crime, there has been very little buzz about this story

Buzzfeed reporter Ryan Mac found that this story was receiving very little coverage from sports journalists. In one of his tweets, he claimed that this story was not featured on the home pages of ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Goal USA, Fox Soccer, or NBC Sports Soccer.

At the time of this post, this story has also not been featured by many prominent women's publications — such as Bustle, Teen Vogue, and Jezebel — despite the importance of this story in light of the #MeToo movement.

However, it is a mistake to not cover this case. From a legal and social justice standpoint, this particular case is important not only because the accused is the most famous athlete in the world, but also because of the preponderance of evidence in the accuser's favor.

According to a medical examination of Mayorga following the alleged rape that was obtained by Der Spiegel, the nurse noted "patient's rectum penetrated" and that ejaculation had occurred "in assailant's hands." And furthermore, there is the questionnaire where Ronaldo himself acknowledged that she "said no and stop several times." In a society where sexual assault cases are often trivialized or dismissed as a mere "he said, she said," this case has clear pieces of evidence that can help hold Ronaldo accountable.

And from a purely moral standpoint, it is a mistake to not cover this case. Throughout the Der Spiegel article, it's clear that Mayorga has suffered greatly as a result of what allegedly happened that night. According to Mayorga, she had to quit her job and experienced frequent suicidal thoughts. A forensic psychologist diagnosed her with PTSD and clinical depression as a "direct and exclusive consequence of Mr. Ronaldo's sexual assault perpetration."

"It's never left her," her mother Cheryl said to Der Spiegel. "Every day, she lives it. There were times when she would call me and he would be on a billboard or whatever, and she would just completely disintegrate. He's the soccer god that everybody thinks is just perfect and flawless."