Cristiano Ronaldo has spoken candidly about his feelings during 2018, the year Kathryn Mayorga came forward to say he raped her in Las Vegas in 2009.
Ronaldo talked to Portuguese broadcaster TVI (h/t Dan Sansom of Sky Sports): "2018 was probably my worst year ever, personally speaking. When people question your honour, it hurts, it hurts a lot."
The Juventus forward didn't speak about any specifics regarding the case, but did offer his thanks and pride after prosecutors decided not to charge him.
Ronaldo's comments come in the wake of lawyers for the 34-year-old filing a motion admitting he paid Mayorga €375,000 as a settlement in 2010 after she reported the rape to police but did not disclose Ronaldo's name at the time. The Independent's Jack de Menezes reported a non-disclosure agreement was supposed to keep Mayorga and Ronaldo's dispute confidential.
In July, prosecutors attached to the Clark County District Attorney's Office determined Ronaldo would not face criminal charges from the accusations. A statement from the office said "the allegations of sexual assault against Cristiano Ronaldo cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt," per Lily Puckett and Dave Maclean of The Independent.
However, a federal lawsuit filed by Mayorga in February is still pending. Mayorga and her lawyers want to invalidate the non-disclosure agreement, on the grounds she was pressured to accept the payment nine years ago.
Earlier this month, Ronaldo's bid to have the case dismissed was rejected by U.S. District Judge Jennifer Dorsey. Mayorga is seeking to invalidate the non-disclosure agreement and "monetary damages of at least £165,000."
German publication Der Spiegel first detailed the allegation in April 2017.
Ronaldo was in the process of joining Real Madrid when the alleged rape is said to have taken place. He left Los Blancos for Juventus in the summer of 2018 in a deal worth £99.2 million.