Cristiano Ronaldo has given Nike authenticity and notoriety on the pitch, but a rape allegation the soccer star is facing has the brand worried.
“We are deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations and will continue to closely monitor the situation,” Nike said in an email exchange with FN today.
The star of the pitch signed a lifetime deal with Nike in 2016, which according to multiple reports, is worth roughly $1 billion. Nike did not confirm terms of the deal with Ronaldo in the email exchange with FN.
According to multiple reports, Kathryn Mayorga on Friday filed a lawsuit against Ronaldo in Clark County, Nevada, alleging the athlete raped her in a Las Vegas hotel room in 2009. The lawsuit further accuses the soccer player of coercing her into signing a nondisclosure agreement and accepting a settlement for $375,000 that same year, CNN reports.
The Las Vegas Police Department announced Monday that it had reopened the criminal investigation against Ronaldo last month.
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Ronaldo, 33, denied the rape claims via Twitter.
“I firmly deny the accusations being issued against me,” he wrote. “Rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything that I am and believe in. 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.”
And today, his soccer club, Juventus FC, defended Ronaldo via Twitter.
“[Cristiano] Ronaldo has shown in recent months his great professionalism and dedication, which is appreciated by everyone at Juventus,” the team wrote. “The events allegedly dating back to almost 10 years ago do not change this opinion, which is shared by anyone who has come into contact with this great champion.”
Several products from Nike feature the athlete’s CR7 branding, including his Mercurial Superfly 360 Elite soccer boots.
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