•      Tue Nov 28 2023

Ronaldo says 2018 ‘probably worst year’ of his life

FILE – In this Monday, July 29, 2019 file photo Juventus soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo speaks in Madrid, Spain. Ronaldo’s lawyers are trying to push a Nevada woman’s lawsuit accusing the Portuguese soccer star of raping her in Las Vegas in 2009 out of federal court and into private arbitration. Attorneys for Ronaldo’s accuser, Kathryn Mayorga, didn’t immediately respond Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019 to messages about documents filed Aug. 8. They asked a judge to declare a confidentiality agreement and $375,000 hush-money settlement with Mayorga still in effect. (AP Photo/Paul White,File)

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo says the rape allegation against him was an attack on his honor and led to one of the worst years of his life.

Ronaldo was accused or raping a woman in Las Vegas more than 10 years ago but won’t face criminal charges after it was determined the investigation failed to show the claim could be proven at trial beyond a reasonable doubt.

Ronaldo has told Portuguese television TVI that “2018 was probably my worst year ever, personally speaking.”

He said that “when people question your honor, it hurts, it hurts a lot.”

The Juventus player did not directly talk about the 2009 accusation brought on by Kathryn Mayorga, an American who in a separate lawsuit says she was pressured to sign an agreement to keep quiet in exchange for $375,000.

The 34-year-old Ronaldo said he was not “comfortable speaking” about the case, “but when people attack your honor, it is difficult.”

He said he was thankful and proud that “once again” his innocence was proven.

The Associated Press generally does not name people who say they are victims of sexual assault. Mayorga gave consent through her lawyers to be named.