Ronaldo accuser’s lawyers demand proof documents are false

Attorney Leslie Stovall, right, speaks during a news conference about rape allegations against soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, on Oct. 3, 2018, in Las Vegas. Stovall represents Kathryn Mayorga, of Nevada, who is alleging Ronaldo raped her in Las Vegas in 2009. (AP)
Updated 12 October 2018
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Ronaldo accuser’s lawyers demand proof documents are false

  • Kathryn Mayorga, 34, a former model, filed a civil lawsuit in Nevada state court seeking money from football star Ronaldo for allegedly raping her
  • Mayorga has also sought a court order to void a non-disclosure agreement the court filing acknowledges she signed when she accepted $375,000 in 2010 to keep quiet

LAS VEGAS, US: Attorneys for a Nevada woman accusing Cristiano Ronaldo of rape challenged the international soccer star’s legal team on Thursday to prove that documents cited in European media reports about their 2009 encounter in Las Vegas are false.
Anything that proves that documents were altered, fabricated or inaccurate also “should be immediately turned over to the appropriate law enforcement agencies,” attorneys Leslie Stovall and Larissa Drohobyczer said in a statement emailed to media in the US and abroad.
“Disputes regarding the accuracy of documents are generally questions of fact to be decided by the jury,” they said.
Ronaldo’s attorney, Peter S. Christiansen, declined to respond.
On Wednesday, Christiansen issued a statement denying wrongdoing by Ronaldo, branding documents that led to media reports about the rape claim “complete fabrications” and asserting that the encounter in a Las Vegas hotel penthouse bedroom was consensual.
The documents became public because they were stolen by a hacker in Europe and put up for sale, Christiansen said.
Stovall and Drohobyczer said Christiansen acknowledged that documents upon which the allegations are based “were obtained from Cristiano Ronaldo or individuals acting on his behalf.”
Drohobyczer declined, via text message, to provide additional comment.
The statement was issued in Las Vegas several hours after the German weekly magazine that first published the rape allegation against Ronaldo said in Berlin that it stands by its story.
“We have no reason to believe that those documents are not authentic,” Der Spiegel spokesman Michael Grabowski said. “We have meticulously fact-checked our information and had it legally reviewed.”
Stovall and Drohobyczer represent Kathryn Mayorga, 34, a former model who filed a civil lawsuit two weeks ago in Nevada state court seeking money from Ronaldo and a court order to void a non-disclosure agreement the court filing acknowledges she signed when she accepted $375,000 in 2010 to keep quiet.
Las Vegas police also reopened a criminal sexual assault investigation at Stovall’s request.
The Associated Press typically does not name people who say they are victims of sex crimes, but Mayorga gave consent through Drohobyczer to make her name public.
In a separate email, Mayorga’s attorneys on Thursday listed 18 US and European agencies ranging from Interpol to Scotland Yard, the FBI and US state attorneys general that they said they asked to investigate whether Ronaldo and anyone associated with him violated laws based on information contained in the documents.
It was not immediately clear if investigators in Portugal, Spain, England, Italy, Ireland and the US states of Nevada and California were acting on that request.
Ronaldo, 33, is from Portugal and plays for the Italian club Juventus and his national team. He began his career at Sporting Lisbon before moving to Manchester United and then Real Madrid in the summer of 2009 for a then-record sum of 94 million euros, or about $130 million.
Some of his corporate sponsors, including Nike and video game maker EA Sports, have expressed concern about the rape allegation.
Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa has spoken in Ronaldo’s defense, while citing his successful international career.


Afghans brave militant threat to vote in delayed election

Updated 44 min 58 sec ago
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Afghans brave militant threat to vote in delayed election

  • Almost nine million people have registered to vote in the parliamentary election
  • Despite the risks, President Ashraf Ghani urged “every Aghan, young and old, women and men” to exercise their right to vote

KABUL: Afghans are bracing for more deadly violence on Saturday as voting gets under way in the long-delayed legislative election that the Taliban has vowed to attack.
After shambolic preparations, polling centers opened at 7:00 am (0230 GMT) across war-torn Afghanistan, but threats of militant attacks and expectations for industrial-scale fraud are likely to deter many voters.
People queueing outside a polling center in Kabul complained the process was taking too long, apparently due to hiccups with biometric voter verification devices that are being used in the election for the first time.
“I came here early to finish and go home quickly, but we have been waiting for an hour and they have not started yet,” Mustafa, 42, told AFP.
“The queue is getting longer. They have to register our votes quickly — we are afraid a bomber or a blast may hit us.”
Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, Afghanistan’s equivalent of prime minister, also waited for more than half an hour at a polling center in the Afghan capital as election workers searched for his name on a voter registration list, a live broadcast on Tolo News showed.
Almost nine million people have registered to vote in the parliamentary election, which is more than three years late and only the third since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.
In the days leading up to the poll, the Taliban issued several statements urging candidates to withdraw and voters to boycott what the group calls a “malicious American conspiracy.”
The killing of a powerful police chief in a highly secure compound in the southern province of Kandahar on Thursday has eroded confidence in the ability of security forces to protect voting locations.
Voting in Kandahar has been delayed by a week following the attack that killed three people, including General Abdul Raziq.
Despite the risks, President Ashraf Ghani urged “every Aghan, young and old, women and men” to exercise their right to vote, after casting his ballot in Kabul.
Dozens of men and women clutching their identification documents were seen lining up outside voting centers in the Afghan capital, as a heavy security presence blocked many streets.
A woman dressed in a burqa exiting a polling center in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif told AFP she had been worried about “security incidents,” but decided to vote anyway.
“We have to defy the violence,” Hafiza, 57, said. “In previous years we were not happy with the elections, our votes were sold out.”
The Independent Election Commission (IEC), which has been skewered over the chaotic lead-up to the ballot, on Friday urged Afghans to “vote only once” and called on others not to interfere in the process.
“They should observe impartiality in the election so that we have a transparent, impartial and fair election in Afghanistan,” IEC chief Abdul Badi Sayyad told reporters.
Preparations for the vote have been marred by a wave of poll-related violence that has left hundreds dead or wounded.
At least 10 candidates out of more than 2,500 contesting the lower-house election have been killed so far.
The most recent victim was Abdul Jabar Qahraman, who was killed Wednesday by a bomb placed under his sofa in the southern province of Helmand.
Most of the candidates are political novices and include doctors, mullahs and journalists. Those with the deepest pockets are expected to win.
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, which has spearheaded international efforts to keep Afghan organizers on track, on Friday called on voters to “exercise their constitutional right to vote.”
The poll is seen as a crucial test for next year’s presidential election and an important milestone ahead of a UN meeting in Geneva in November where Afghanistan is under pressure to show progress on “democratic processes.”
But there are concerns the results could be thrown into turmoil if the biometric verification devices are broken, lost or destroyed.
Votes cast without the controversial machines will not be counted, the IEC has said.