Der Spiegel responded to Cristiano Ronaldo’s lawyers, defending their sources after suggestions the rape allegations were based on “manipulated documents.”
Las Vegas police have re-opened the 2009 investigation into rape claims made by model Kathryn Mayorga, who signed a non-disclosure agreement with Ronaldo that same year.
The strong statement from lawyer Peter Christiansen yesterday claimed that “the documents that allegedly contain statements by Mr Ronaldo and were reproduced in the media are pure inventions,” based on original versions stolen by cyber-hackers and “altered and/or completely fabricated” before being sold on to the media.
This evening, Der Spiegel via reporter Christoph Winterbach gave their own response via Twitter.
“We've seen this before. The statement presents the usual path that Mr. Ronaldo and his lawyers have taken in the past when unsuccessfully fighting our investigative work.
“Our story is carefully researched. We have hundreds of documents from different sources that substantiate our reporting. We have no reason to believe that those documents are not authentic.
“Furthermore, as always and before publishing every single article in DER SPIEGEL, we have meticulously fact-checked our information and had it legally reviewed. We are therefore confident with the sources that we base our story upon. We stand by our reporting.
“CR7’s new lawyer, Mr. Christiansen, writes that some of the documents were “complete fabrications”. This comes 2 weeks after we published! While always denying the rape accusations, this is the 1st time that Ronaldo's side are actually refuting facts of this recent article.
“Doubting our documents seems to be their preferred strategy: When we published an article about the settlement agreement between Mayorga and Ronaldo in 2017, his advisors first called it “journalistic fiction“. Now, Cristiano admits that he agreed to that settlement.
“When we reported about Mr. Ronaldo’s tax fraud, his lawyers first claimed that the information from our documents were “unreliable”. CR7 denied that he had committed any tax fraud. But by now, he admitted his guilt and paid money back to the Spanish state.
“Before publishing our story about the rape accusations, we gave Mr. Ronaldo and his lawyers the opportunity to respond to the allegations. They could have disputed the facts that we presented to them. They did not do that.
“Instead, they chose to have a media lawyer threaten us. He claimed that we infringed Ronaldo’s personal rights and announced that he would sue us if we went ahead with publication. So far, we have not received anything in this regard. We will continue to cover the story.
“Only Mayorga and Ronaldo know the truth about the incident. It’s not our job to judge, we only report. We tell both sides of the story. The responsible authorities will determine the following steps. So far, of course the presumption of innocence applies to Ronaldo.”