A woman who says she was raped by Cristiano Ronaldo was “given courage” by the Me Too movement, her lawyer has said.
Kathryn Mayorga, 34, has taken legal action against the footballer, claiming he sexually assaulted her in a Las Vegas penthouse suite in 2009.
She also alleges the former Manchester United player dispatched a team of “fixers” to obstruct the criminal investigation and trick her into keeping quiet for $375,000 (£268,000).
Her lawyer, Leslie Stovall, held a Las Vegas press conference on Wednesday, where he said: “Yes the #MeToo movement and the women who have stood up and disclosed sexual assaults publicly has given [her] a lot of courage and has, to a great extent, enabled her to come forward, and to file her civil complaint and also to go to the police department.”
Stovall added that Mayorga suffers depression and post-traumatic stress linked to the alleged incident.
Mayorga was not present at the press conference, with her lawyer saying “she has decided not to make herself available to the media and stay out of the public because of her emotional state”.
“It is not pleasant for her,” he added.
Writing on Twitter, Ronaldo said on Wednesday: “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.
“My clear conscious will thereby allow me to await with tranquillity the results of any and all investigations.”
The lawsuit also accuses Ronaldo or those working for him of battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, coercion and fraud, abuse of a vulnerable person, racketeering and civil conspiracy, defamation, abuse of process, breach of contract, and negligence for allowing details of the confidential settlement to leak out.
It asks for general damages, special damages, punitive damages and special relief, each in excess of $50,000 (£38,000), along with interest, lawyer fees and court costs.
Earlier this week it was confirmed that police have also restarted a criminal investigation into the alleged incident.