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Ronaldo rape claims 'a defamation campaign'

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Rape allegations made against Cristiano Ronaldo are a "defamation campaign based on stolen and easily manipulated digital documents", according to the player's lawyer Peter Christiansen.

Ronaldo, 33, denies assaulting Kathryn Mayorga at a Las Vegas hotel in 2009.

Mayorga says she was attacked by the Portuguese footballer in a hotel room in the US city that year.

A statement from Christiansen says the Juventus forward "vehemently denies all accusations in this civil action".

Ronaldo previously dismissed the claim, first reported in Germany's Der Spiegel, as "fake news" and his representatives said he would take legal action against the magazine.

Der Spiegel said Mayorga, 34, filed a report with Las Vegas police shortly after the alleged incident.

In 2010, she reportedly reached an out-of-court settlement with Ronaldo involving a $375,000 (£288,000) payment for agreeing never to go public with the allegations.

Ronaldo's lawyer says in a statement his client's position continues to be that "what happened in 2009 in Las Vegas was completely consensual".

Christiansen says Ronaldo does not deny that he agreed to enter into an agreement, but "the reasons that led him to do so are at least to be distorted".

The statement added: "This agreement is by no means a confession of guilt.

"What happened was simply that Cristiano Ronaldo merely followed the advice of his advisors in order to put an end to the outrageous accusations made against him, in order precisely to avoid attempts, such as those we are now witnessing, to destroy a reputation built thanks to hard work, athletic ability and behavioural correction.

"Unfortunately, it is now involved in the type of litigation that is very common in the United States."

More to follow.

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