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Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo: plane banner protest as striker returns to Manchester United

Story by PA Media

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Published on September 12, 2021 6:36 AM
A banner backing a woman who claims to have been sexually assaulted by Cristiano Ronaldo was flown over Old Trafford stadium during the footballer's first game back at Manchester United on Saturday.

The banner, which read "Believe Kathryn Mayorga," referred to allegations of rape made against the Portuguese international footballer in 2009.

Feminist campaign group Level Up claimed responsibility for the stunt.

Mayorga has claimed the player assaulted her in a hotel suite bedroom after she met him in a nightclub in Las Vegas. Ronaldo maintains the sex was consensual.

Mayorga is currently trying to pursue a civil claim after the criminal complaint was dismissed.

Las Vegas police reinvestigated the claims in 2018 but decided they could not "be proven beyond reasonable doubt".

In October 2018 Ronaldo tweeted: "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."

Mayorga has filed a civil lawsuit in the US claiming "battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, coercion, fraud, abuse of ...