A banner bearing the name of Cristiano Ronaldo’s alleged rape victim has been hoisted above Old Trafford in protest against the Portugal captain.
The 36-year-old football sensation returned to Manchester United for their Premier League match against Newcastle today – taking just 47 minutes to score his first goal back in the red, scoring again in the second half to double it. before.
But as the game unfolded at Man You Stadium, a plane circling overhead with a banner written Believe Catherine Mayorga allegedly organized by the feminist campaign group Level Up.
Katherine previously accused Ronaldo of sexually assaulting her in a Las Vegas hotel room after meeting her on a night out in 2009, when she was 25 – a charge she vehemently denies.
Court documents revealed in April that she was claiming £56 million in damages.
She wants £18m for “past aches and pains”, £18m for “future aches and pains”, and £18m in punitive damages.
The 37-year-old’s expenses are up to £1.4m.
This includes a legal fee of £1.1m.
And that means the total is £56.5m – the equivalent of two years’ worth of the Juventus star’s salary.
In 2010, Ms Mayorga accepted $375,000 – £270,000 – as part of an out-of-court non-disclosure settlement.
But three years ago, Ms Mayorga filed a civil suit in Las Vegas, saying she was “mentally incapacitated” when she agreed to it.
And she claims that she signed it under pressure.
Ronaldo has said: “I strongly deny the allegations against me.
“Rape is a sordid crime that goes against everything that I am and what I believe in.
“While I may be eager to clear my name, I refuse to feed on a media spectacle created by people seeking to promote themselves at their expense.”
That night, Ronaldo, 24, was in Vegas on vacation with his brother-in-law and cousin.
Ms Mayorga, who works at the Rain nightclub inside the Palms Casino Resort, says she met Ronaldo in the VIP area of the venue.
He then invited her and a friend to his penthouse suite—room 57306 at the Palms—to “enjoy the view of the Las Vegas Strip”, she claims.
The luxurious suite has a Jacuzzi on the balcony.
Ms Mayorga claims she refused to go to the hot tub because she didn’t want to ruin her dress.
She said that Ronaldo gave her some clothes to wear and asked her to change in the bathroom.
Court papers claim that while she was turning, Ronaldo came in and exposed himself before asking her to have sex.
Ms Mayorga said that he then kissed her after refusing to engage in sex work on the condition that he let her go.
According to Ms Mayorga, when he dragged her into the bedroom and raped her, Ronaldo told her he was a “good guy” except for “one percent”.
Court documents recorded by his lawyers said Ms Mayorga had rejected Ronaldo’s advances by shouting: “No, no, no”.
Ms Mayorga reported the alleged crime to Las Vegas police the next day but declined to name Ronaldo.
She later decided not to prosecute and signed a non-disclosure agreement in January 2010.
Despite admitting the existence of the NDA, his lawyers maintained that it was “in no way a confession of guilt”.
But in September 2018, as the #MeToo movement began, Ms Mayorga broke the deal by giving an interview, resulting in the Las Vegas police reopening the case.
The Clark County District Attorney’s office announced in 2019 that it would not prosecute Ronaldo.
In a statement, it said: “Based on a review of the information presented at this time, the allegations of sexual assault against Cristiano Ronaldo cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
“Therefore, no fee will be charged.”
Ronaldo vehemently denied the claims and called them “fake news”, claiming that the sex was consensual.