Real Madrid say they have begun legal action against a Portuguese newspaper following a claim that the La Liga club told Cristiano Ronaldo to pay off a woman accusing him of rape.
Ronaldo has been accused by Kathryn Mayorga of rape in a Las Vegas hotel shortly before he completed a record move from Manchester United to Real in 2009.
Correio da Manha reported that Real encouraged Ronaldo to pay Mayorga to not make the claim public but the club refute the story and have demanded a retraction.
In a statement, Real have said: “Real Madrid can today announce that the club has taken legal action against the Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manha for publishing categorically false information in an effort to seriously damage the image of this club.
“Real Madrid has absolutely no knowledge of any of the information that the newspaper published with regard to the player Cristiano Ronaldo, and therefore the club was unable to take action on a matter of which it had no knowledge.
“Real Madrid has demanded total rectification of the situation from the aforementioned newspaper.”
Mayorga says Ronaldo paid her $375,000 to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Ronaldo denies raping Mayorga, and insists their encounter was “consensual”.