Juventus released an official statement on Thursday evening amid the recent rape allegations made against club superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Serie A giants had been quiet on the accusations brought forward by an American woman, Kathryn Mayorga, over an incident that took place nine years ago, but have now showed their support for their player with two messages on Twitter.
Mayorga has pressed charges against Ronaldo, claiming he raped her in a Las Vegas hotel back in 2009 after they met at a nightclub, with Der Spiegel reporting in detail on the incident.
Soon after the incident, Ronaldo’s representatives and the lawyer of the alleged victim reportedly agreed to a $375 000 (R5.4 million) out-of-court settlement for Mayorga to remain silent.
However, Mayorga’s new lawyer stated this week that his client was not mentally stable at the time of the settlement, and has asked the police to reopen the case.
Las Vegas police confirmed on Tuesday they had initially investigated the complaint in 2009 but had no suspect. This is in line with Mayorga’s version of the event that transpired, saying she decided against naming Ronaldo in order to protect her family.
“At the time the report was taken, the victim did not provide detectives with the location of the incident or suspect description,” a statement from the Las Vegas Police Department read.
“As of September 2018, the case has been reopened and our detectives are following up on information being provided.”
Ronaldo strongly denied the accusations via his Twitter account this week.
Meanwhile, two of Ronaldo’s biggest sponsors – Nike and Electronic Arts – have expressed their concerns about the rape allegations against the superstar.
“We are deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations and will continue to closely monitor the situation,” Nike said in a statement, according to the Associated Press, while EA Sports, a division of Electronic Arts, said that: “We have seen the concerning report that details allegations against Cristiano Ronaldo.
“We are closely monitoring the situation as we expect cover athletes and ambassadors to conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with EA’s values.”