Cristiano Ronaldo removed social media from FIFA 19 by EA Sports amid rape allegations against the cover star
- Juventus and Portugal striker featured in social media ads
- Cristiano Ronaldo has been used as the face of the game for the past two years
- The 33-year-old is now here to be seen at the game’s promotional outlets
- Kathryn Mayorga filed a complaint alleging she was raped by Ronaldo in 2009
One of Cristiano Ronaldo’s biggest sponsors has removed photos of him from his website and Twitter account after saying he is “ watching closely ” rape allegations against the footballer.
The images later reappeared on video game company EA Sports’ website after the Daily Mail raised questions about it.
Ronaldo, 33, is the face of the company’s FIFA 19 video game, in what is seen as a multi-million pound deal.
EA Sports said it did not remove player images, although this “ could have been mistakenly viewed as action on our part ” during updates to its website.
Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo has been removed from FIFA 19 social media platforms by EA Sports
It came after the company released a statement saying: ‘We have seen the disturbing report which details the allegations against Cristiano Ronaldo.
“We are monitoring the situation closely as we expect Athletes and Cover Ambassadors to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with EA’s values.
Meanwhile, shares of the player’s current club, Turin-based Juventus, fell 10% yesterday, equivalent to £ 114.5million.
The Portuguese striker has been used as the face of the game for the past two years
It comes after Nike on Thursday said it was “ deeply concerned ” by Kathryn Mayorga’s claims. The sportswear company is Ronaldo’s biggest sponsor, having signed a more than $ 1 billion (£ 763 million) lifetime contract with him in 2016.
Miss Mayorga, 34, a former teacher, filed a lawsuit in the United States claiming that Ronaldo raped her on June 13, 2009 in her penthouse suite at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas.
She met him at Rain, a nightclub that is part of the resort, on a night out with friends. She said this week she ‘wanted justice’ for the alleged incident after previously signing a £ 270,000 nondisclosure agreement.
He had featured in ads on FIFA 19’s Twitter and Facebook accounts after the game’s release.
Cristiano Ronaldo is pictured with Kathryn Mayorga, who alleged she was raped by him
His lawyers claim the deal is not valid and that Ronaldo himself violated it. They promised to start publishing documents relating to the case in the coming days, including the results of a medical examination.
Las Vegas Police have reopened an investigation into the allegations after Miss Mayorga’s attorneys handed over an evidentiary package. It is still unclear whether Ronaldo will be invited to testify.
The footballer said in a statement: “ I strongly deny the charges against me. Rape is a heinous crime that goes against everything I am and what I believe in.
“As 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.
The rape allegations only came to light after millions of documents relating to the football world, including allegations of investments in offshore companies, were leaked by a whistleblower.
Among the 18.6 million documents, there was a number focused on the alleged assault of 2009. The claims were subsequently pursued by the German news magazine Der Spiegel.
THE ACCUSATOR’S MARRIAGE LETTER
The former teacher who accused Cristiano Ronaldo of raping her briefly married before the alleged attack.
Kathryn Mayorga, 34, grew up in a sprawling family home in one of Las Vegas’ nicest neighborhoods, overlooking the city’s famous Strip.
The daughter of a firefighter and a stay-at-home mom, she was an aspiring model when she met the footballer in 2009 shortly after her separation from her husband. It is not clear whether the couple were still legally married at the time of the alleged rape.
Miss Mayorga was married to a bar worker from an Albanian family who also worked part-time in repairing computers. “At that age, I had graduated from college, I needed to be married, I had that pressure,” she told German magazine Der Spiegel. “ And at first I was on board with it. ”
But about a year after their marriage, the couple broke up and Miss Mayorga left the house they had bought together to return to live with her parents.
Speaking about life after separation, she said: ‘I was really enjoying myself. I worked everyday, I ate vegan … I did a lot of good things with modeling. ”
It was around this time that she met Ronaldo at a night out with friends at Rain, a nightclub at the Palms Casino Resort.