The German publication reporting the rape allegation against Cristiano Ronaldo stands by the documents used in its story, saying it has “no reason” to question their authenticity.
The Juventus forward is being sued in the United States by a woman who claims he assaulted her at a Las Vegas hotel in 2009.
He denies doing so, and lawyers representing him said on Wednesday in a statement that “documents which purportedly contain statements by Mr Ronaldo are complete fabrications”.
German magazine Der Spiegel has responded to that claim from Nevada attorney Peter S Christiansen with a statement of its own.
Published on spiegel.de, it read: “We have hundreds of documents from different sources that substantiate our reporting.
“We stand by our reporting. We have no reason to believe that those documents are not authentic.
“As always and before publishing every single article in Der Spiegel, we have meticulously fact-checked our information and had it legally reviewed.”
Christiansen’s statement, published on gestifute.com, also said that the documents had come from a cyber attack in 2015 and that “a media outlet irresponsibly ended up publishing some of the stolen documents, significant parts of which were altered and/or completely fabricated”.
He added that Ronaldo’s position remains that “what happened in 2009 in Las Vegas was completely consensual”.
Christiansen wrote: “So that there are no doubts: Cristiano Ronaldo vehemently denies all the accusations in this civil action, in consistency with what he has done in the last nine years.”
On Thursday evening lawyers representing Ronaldo’s accuser called for any relevant documents in his possession to be “immediately turned over” to themselves and to “appropriate law enforcement agencies to expedite the investigation and resolution of the alleged discrepancies in the ‘Football Leaks’ documents.”
A statement from Las Vegas law firm Stovall and Associates said: “We look forward to reviewing any evidence that tends to prove, as Mr Ronaldo’s lawyer asserts, that some of the ‘Football Leaks’ documents were altered, fabricated, or contain false/inaccurate information.”
Ronaldo was left out of Portugal’s squad for their forthcoming fixtures against Poland and Scotland, but he continues to have the full support of both club and country.