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Christoph Winterbach
This is a thread about the rape allegations vs. : About our research , about Ronaldo's reaction and a little insight into why the alleged victim Kathryn Mayorga speaks out about the case nine years later. This is the story btw: 1/24
An American woman claims Cristiano Ronaldo raped her in Las Vegas. Years ago, the soccer star paid her to remain silent. Now, the woman is going public for the first time and filing a complaint...
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Christoph Winterbach Sep 30
Replying to @derWinterbach
We had hundreds of documents from different sources: e-mails, medical and police reports. we put the story together: In 2009, Mayorga accused Ronaldo of rape. She said she was too afraid to say his name to the police & to go to court b/c she feared harassment by 's fans. 2/24
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Christoph Winterbach Sep 30
Replying to @derWinterbach
Her unexperienced lawyer (specialised on traffic violations) hacked out a deal with high-profile lawyers who usually have Hollywood clients. They settled on $375.000, Mayorga had to be silent and never mention the incident ever again. stated that the sex was consensual. 3/24
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Christoph Winterbach Sep 30
Replying to @Cristiano
We worked for weeks on that story last year, travelled to Las Vegas, tried to talk to Mayorga (she wouldn't talk), confronted Ronaldo (he denied), published three articles. After the first text, 's agency published a troubling statement. 4/24
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Christoph Winterbach Sep 30
Replying to @Cristiano
The statement was not only untruthful (it suggested that we didn't have signed documents and couldn't identify Ronaldo. That was not true, and we proved it), it also suggested that 's lawyers didn't abide by the settlement terms. 5/24
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Christoph Winterbach Sep 30
Replying to @Cristiano
In their statement they said that Ronaldo had never received the letter from Mayorga, which we quoted from. But it was part of the settlement deal: 's lawyers had to read her letter to him. If he really didn't know about the letter, they breached the settlement. 6/24
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Christoph Winterbach Sep 30
Replying to @derWinterbach
They also called our article “a piece of journalistic fiction”, although to this day they never called out any of the documents we show and quote from as fake. We have no reason to assume that they're not authentic. We meticulously check that before publishing. Always. 7/24
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Christoph Winterbach Sep 30
Replying to @derWinterbach
Fast forward a year and a half: We had the movement and Mayorga has a new lawyer who says the settlement is void. He says that she was diagnosed with PTSD and describes the mediation as traumatic. Even CR7's lawyers stated that she was extremely volatile and emotional 8/24
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Christoph Winterbach Sep 30
Replying to @derWinterbach
That apparently made Mayorga decide to now talk to us and tell her story - although she signed the non-disclosure settlement. We reached out to Ronaldo, he wouldn't talk. We confronted him with the allegations again, especially with a very sensitive document that quotes him. 9/24
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Christoph Winterbach Sep 30
Replying to @derWinterbach
It's a questionnaire made by his lawyers. Ronaldo seems to partly confirm Mayorga's version & stated that "she didn't want to, but she made herself available." In a later version of that questionnaire, these answers are gone. is quoted saying it was consensual. 10/24
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Christoph Winterbach Sep 30
Replying to @derWinterbach
This document might become very important. It's very dangerous for Ronaldo because it casts reasonable doubts on his denial. Again, we did ask him about it. Nobody said that it was fake. It would have been easy for him and his lawyers to respond that. They didn't. 11/24
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Christoph Winterbach Sep 30
Replying to @Cristiano
Mayorga's lawyer has now filed a civil complaint that challenges the settlement and Ronaldo's lawyers' strategy towards Mayorga. You can read the full text here: 's lawyer has issued a statement. He is well known to the German press. 12/24
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Christoph Winterbach Sep 30
Replying to @derWinterbach
What he likes to do before publishing is to send e-mails to the editors, threatening to sue them if they follow through with it. He did the same to us this time. But let me explain how we work: We have fact-checkers who check every single word of every single article. 13/24
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Christoph Winterbach Sep 30
Replying to @DerSPIEGEL
You can't write anything unsubstantiated, because they will scratch it from the article if you can't prove it. They only approve the article if they were able to verify your sources. We value facts. That's an integral part of . 14/24
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Christoph Winterbach Sep 30
Replying to @derWinterbach
We have a legal department that accompanies us on every step of our research. They make sure that we're not thoughtless when covering people and their stories. Also, our editors in chief are experienced with articles that accuse people with power and money. 15/24
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Christoph Winterbach Sep 30
Replying to @derWinterbach
So publishing a story like that is not done within a week, just followed through by one person. There were at least 20 people involved with this article, for weeks. We know what we're doing. We do this sort of thing for a living. 16/24
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Christoph Winterbach Sep 30
Replying to @Cristiano
Ronaldo's lawyer now still says that our publication was "illegal" because "it violates the personal rights" of . Pay attention! He doesn't call it "a piece of journalistic fiction", he doesn't call it fake. He just says it's too personal to become public. 17/24
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Christoph Winterbach Sep 30
Replying to @derWinterbach
We disagree. Because Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the biggest celebrities in the world facing very serious allegations, and because there's a public complaint against him. We believe that we have every right to publish this story. 18/24
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Christoph Winterbach Sep 30
Replying to @derWinterbach
If we didn't have this right, when would it ever be possible to publish about rape allegations? This is one of the most obvious cases of admissible reporting of suspicions! We have hundreds of uncontested documents from several sources to back the story up. 19/24
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Christoph Winterbach Sep 30
Replying to @derWinterbach
Finally, Ronaldo himself apparently denied our story, saying it was "fake news" and thinks that Mayorga wants to be as famous as him. Since she said that she was even too scared to name him in front of the Police, I'd highly doubt that she wanted to become famous. 20/24
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