It has been revealed how Cristiano Ronaldo hired an elite team of ‘sweepers’ who ran up $1million bill to keep his image spotless.
On June 13, 2009, before joining Real Madrid after leaving Manchester United, he had met his rape accuser, model Kathryn Mayorga in a Las Vegas nightclub and invited her to a party at his penthouse. There, she claims he raped her – an allegation he vehemently denies.
Within hours, still in tears, she had a rigorous police medical examination.
According to Mirror Online, the footballer’s aides put together a “team” of the world’s highest-powered lawyers, detectives, forensic experts, doctors and PR specialists.
Their goal – to protect their client’s multi-million-pound reputation by ensuring the 25-year-old’s accusation quickly and quietly disappeared for ever.
Gathered from Britain, Ireland, Portugal and America, they racked up a $1million legal bill in the process.
The figure – almost three times the amount Ronaldo eventually paid Ms Mayorga to keep quiet – left him fuming.
But his US lawyers made it clear they thought they were worth their fees.
They pointed out that if the Portuguese star were to be extradited he could, if convicted, face a life sentence.
More importantly, they stressed his need to avoid an enormous hit to his image if the allegations ever became public.
However, the efforts of the “team” have left Ms Mayorga’s lawyers so concerned they want to overturn the $375,000 (£287,000) confidentiality agreement she signed.
Last week it was revealed that her lead attorney, Leslie Stovall, was to demand a probe into the team’s conduct from Scotland Yard, Greater Manchester Police, England’s Attorney General, the FBI, and the attorney generals of Ireland, Italy and California. All have now had letters, as well as Interpol.
Mr Stovall said: “We have asked these agencies to determine whether Ronaldo and any individuals and organisations associated with him have violated any laws within their jurisdiction.”
The Las Vegas lawyer says the non-disclosure deal was designed to “prevent or delay criminal prosecution” of the alleged assault.
He calls it a targeted “contemporaneous conspiracy” arguing: “Hiding a crime is a crime.”
But this week Ronaldo’s new lawyer hit back, claiming hackers had fabricated stolen documents to make him look guilty. Extracts of these, he claimed, had been published in German magazine Der Spiegel.