Feminist group Level Up take responsibility for flying plane over Old Trafford on Ronaldo’s return
Ronaldo’s success on the pitch
Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford was met with jubilation by those inside the Theatre of Dreams, as he netted twice on the way to a 4-1 win over Newcastle United.
😍 @Cristiano pic.twitter.com/CaODu4rrfE
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 11, 2021
His every touch, step over and shot left the United faithful purring, and his two goals, though not special in execution, sent those gathered to watch the spectacle into raptures the likes of which the ground has not seen in a long time, perhaps ever.
With his second debut now behind him, Reds fans will be hoping that he continues his scoring record at the club and can fire them to some long-overdue silverware this campaign.
Off the pitch issues remain
However, off the pitch issues still surround CR7, not least the rape allegations made against him, for which a civil lawsuit remains open in the US.
Note: the following is an in-depth excerpt of the allegations and resulting legal actions taken via the Manchester Evening News.
Ronaldo is alleged to have raped an American woman, Kathryn Mayorga, during a holiday to Las Vegas in the summer of 2009, just weeks before his move from United to Real Madrid. An allegation he has always denied.
On June 12, 2009, Ronaldo met Mayorga at the now-closed nightclub Rain, and they were pictured by paparazzi on that evening.
Mayorga has alleged that she was invited back to Ronaldo’s suite at the Palms Place Hotel, where it is alleged the rape took place. A day later, on June 13, 2009, Mayorga reported the alleged assault to police but opted against revealing her name or the name of her alleged attacker, or where the incident had taken place.
After hiring a lawyer Mayorga initiated civil proceedings against Ronaldo, rather than going ahead with criminal charges.
As a result of the civil action legal teams representing the two parties met in Las Vegas for mediation in January 2010. Ronaldo was not present at the talks.
That mediation reportedly led to Ronaldo agreeing to pay $375,000 (£270,000) to the complainant as a settlement, though there was no suggestion the settlement implied or accepted any wrongful conduct by the football star. In return Mayorga could not publicly discuss the allegation.
In 2018, a year after the allegation against the player was made public by a German newspaper, Ronaldo’s legal team accepted that the 2010 settlement agreement did exist but reiterated Ronaldo had not admitted guilt.
“This agreement is by no means a confession of guilt,” a statement from his lawyers said in 2018. “What happened was simply that Cristiano Ronaldo merely followed the advice of his advisors in order to put an end to the outrageous accusations made against him, in order precisely to avoid attempts, such as those we are now witnessing, to destroy a reputation built thanks to hard work, athletic ability and behavioural correction.”
Las Vegas Police did re-investigate the alleged ‘sexual assault’ in 2018 and in January 2019 they requested a DNA sample from the footballer, and six months later they concluded Ronaldo would not face any criminal charges.
“Based on a review of the information presented at this time, the allegations of sexual assault against Cristiano Ronaldo cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt,” said the Clark County District Attorney’s office. “Therefore, no charges will be forthcoming.”
A spokesperson added: “She (Mayorga) refused to identify him or disclose where the crime occurred. As a result, the police were unable to follow investigative protocols for sexual assault cases or to conduct any meaningful investigation.
“Without knowing the identity of the perpetrator or the location of the crime, detectives were unable to search for and impound vital forensic evidence. In addition, video evidence, showing interactions between the victim and perpetrator before and after the alleged crime, was lost.”
For some, he is considered guilty, including the feminist group level up, who took to flying a plane over Old Trafford during the clash with Newcastle. Taking to social media to explain their actions, they revealed:
We flew a plane over the Man United football ground and our message is simple: Believe Kathryn Mayorga.
Let’s say NO to the culture of silence around abuse from the football community. Pledge your solidarity with Kathryn & survivors
☄️ We flew a plane over the Man United football ground and our message is simple: Believe Kathryn Mayorga.
Let’s say NO to the culture of silence around abuse from the football community. Pledge your solidarity with Kathryn & survivors: https://t.co/YZgcxou75E pic.twitter.com/jvGVOBYTIP
— Level Up (@we_level_up) September 11, 2021