Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo has "firmly denied" an accusation of rape and says it is "an abominable crime".
Nevada native Kathryn Mayorga has accused the Portuguese of sexually assaulting her in a Las Vegas hotel room when he was on the cusp of signing for Real Madrid.
According to a Der Spiegel report, Mayorga first made a complaint of sexual assault in 2009 and subsequently reached an out-of-court settlement with Ronaldo. It is claimed by the magazine she was paid $375,000 as part of a privacy agreement, preventing her from going public with the allegations.
Upon publication of the article on Friday, Ronaldo dismissed the story as "fake news" in an Instagram video which he later deleted.
The Juventus star took to his Twitter account on Wednesday to categorically deny the allegations and suggest that his accusers are exploiting his name to gain notoriety : "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."
I firmly deny the accusations being issued against me. Rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything that I am and believe in. 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.— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) October 3, 2018
My clear conscious will thereby allow me to await with tranquillity the results of any and all investigations.— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) October 3, 2018
Ronaldo joined Juventus from Real Madrid in July in a €112million deal, after spending nine years with the Spanish giants.