Cristiano Ronaldo Kept Off Portugal’s Roster After Rape Claims

Cristiano Ronaldo has been left out of Portugal’s team for their next two matches as he battles a rape accusation, Sky News reports.

The soccer star will not be allowed to play for his national team in its second game of the UEFA Nations League in Poland on October 11, as well as in the friendly match against Scotland three days later in Glasgow.

The surprise move was announced only days after Ronaldo was accused of raping teacher Kathryn Mayorga in a Las Vegas hotel room in June 2009.

On Wednesday, the Juventus forward spoke out against the allegation, “firmly” denying that it happened.

“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 tranquility the results of any and all investigations,” Ronaldo said on Twitter.

Portugal coach Fernando Santos has come forward in his player’s defense, saying he believes his denials. Santos also said the decision to keep the 33-year-old away from the pitch was reached in agreement with Ronaldo himself, as well as with the head of the Portuguese soccer federation.

“We agreed the player wouldn’t be available, wouldn’t be an option for selection. For the next two squad selections, this one and the one next month, Ronaldo won’t be with us,” Santos announced.

The former Real Madrid star has seen his life turned upside down after German magazine Der Spiegel reported that Mayorga, 34, was allegedly coerced into signing a $375,000 settlement with Ronaldo in 2010. Now her lawyer, Leslie Mark Stovall, has filed a lawsuit to declare the non-disclosure agreement void. Mayorga said she gathered the courage to come forward because of the Me Too movement, as reported by Sky News.

Her lawyer said she wishes to avoid the cameras because of her emotional situation, and that she has suffered from “major” depression and PTSD ever since the alleged sexual assault took place.

Ronaldo’s lawyers have claimed that Der Spiegel’s reporting of the allegations and the settlement’s details was “blatantly illegal.” The soccer star himself replied to a fan’s comment on an Instagram Live video three days before the official denial, saying that the claims were “fake news” and that people looking to achieve fame by using his name was “part of the job.”

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