In a series of tweets Wednesday morning, international soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo denied allegations that he raped a woman and paid her $375,000 in an out-of-court settlement.
A lawsuit alleges that the accuser was coerced into signing a nondisclosure agreement, according to the German publication Der Spiegel, which first reported the allegations last week.
Kathryn Mayorga filed a lawsuit Friday in Clark County, Nevada, and says that Ronaldo raped her nine years ago in a Las Vegas hotel room. According to the lawsuit, Ronaldo apologized after the alleged attack, “stating he was sorry, he was usually a gentleman,” CNN reported. The lawsuit also claims that Ronaldo told his representatives that Mayorga “said ‘no’ and ‘stop’ several times.”
Mayorga, a former model and elementary school teacher told Der Spiegel that they met at Rain, a Las Vegas nightclub, where Ronaldo allegedly walked up to her and grabbed her arm. “He was like ‘You! Come with me!’ I was like, are you joking?” Mayorga told the publication.
The lawsuit alleges that Ronaldo and his representatives later took advantage of Mayorga’s “fragile emotional state to coerce her into signing a settlement” and NDA in 2009, according to CNN.
Ronaldo has disputed the claims both on Instagram and Twitter.
“I firmly deny the accusations being issued against me. Rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything that I am and believe in,” he wrote on Wednesday. “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’s accusations against Ronaldo and his subsequent denial come as the national conversation around sexual violence centers on survivors and calls on the public to believe women who come forward.