Football: Ronaldo faces rape allegations

By Athena Constantinou, Managing Director, APC Sports Consulting, Nicosia, Cyprus

Recently, there has been a spate of historical rape allegations against celebrities, culminating in and from the ‘me-too’ movement.

The latest victim of such claims is Portuguese super football star, Cristiano Ronaldo, who transferred in the 2018 Summer ‘Transfer Window’ from Real Madrid to Italian Champions Juventus for a fee of €112 million on a four-year contract worth in salary for him of €120 million.

The rape allegation go against him dates back to 2009 and comes from Kathryn Mayorga, who claims that Ronaldo forced her to have sex with him at a Las Vegas Hotel.

Ronaldo vehemently denies this allegation, saying that it goes against all he stands for, and his club has come out in support of him.

However, it appears that the claimant had reached an out-of-court settlement with him and agreed to keep her allegations private. She now claims that he breached one of the terms of this agreement and has, therefore, made public her allegations against Ronaldo.

The Las Vegas Police Department, confirmed on 2 October 2018, that it has reopened an investigation into the claim of rape, stating that the claimant had not named any suspect at the time.

Apart from being highly paid, Ronaldo, with 322 million followers on social media, has some lucrative sponsorship and endorsement deals with some high-profile international companies, including NIKE. In fact, his NIKE life-time contract is reputedly worth some US$1 billion and they have has expressed “concern” at the allegations made against him.

So, there is much at stake riding on these allegations!

Sports celebrities face all kinds of ups and downs in their careers – sporting, financial, health-wise and personal – and, being in the public-eye, may be a sitting target for all kinds of claims made against them.

In representing them, therefore, one needs to have in place strategies and damage limitation exercises to deal with them, if and when they occur, in order to protect and safeguard sports celebrities very valuable brands and future-earning capacities.

This requires a ‘holistic’ and ‘pro-active’ approach and is one which, if I may so, we follow and apply at APC Sports Consulting!

Athena Constantinou may be contacted by e-mail at ‘athena@apc-sport.com’