Cristiano Ronaldo‘s brother has dismissed the rape allegations made against the Juventus star as ‘rubbish’ and says his home island of Madeira ‘will stand behind him’.
The Portuguese footballer has been accused of raping Kathryn Mayorga, an American model, in a Las Vegas hotel room in 2009.
Ronaldo vehemently denies the claims, describing them as ‘fake news’ in a social media post.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s brother Hugo Aveiro (left) has defended the star against rape allegations
His elder brother Hugo Aveiro, 43, who still lives in the island’s capital Funchal and runs the CR7 Museum, has rubbished the allegations, which emerged shortly after Ronaldo’s £100million transfer from Real Madrid to Juventus over the summer.
‘My brother is a hero in Madeira. He has a big impact here because he’s done a lot for the island,’ Aveiro told The Times.
‘Around half a million people come to the [CR7] museum each year. My brother comes back usually for New Year’s Eve because it’s our mother’s birthday, there are lots of fireworks, although this year he might be here or Dubai.
‘People here are defensive of him because everyone knows him. The local news is only saying good things and the people will stand behind him. He is an icon of Madeira.’
Asked whether the claims are rubbish, Aveiro replied: ‘Yes, a lot of.’
Against the backdrop of the allegations, Ronaldo became the first player to score 400 times in Europe’s leading five divisions when he netted for Juventus against Genoa on Saturday.
He returns to former club Manchester United in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
Ronaldo paid Mayorga, who was then 25, £288,000 to sign a non-disclosure agreement at the time of the alleged rape. His lawyers say this is ‘by no means a confession of guilt.’
Ronaldo maintains that what happened in the aftermath of a night of drinking in a Las Vegas nightclub was consensual.
Shares in Juventus have fallen by 37 per cent since Las Vegas police said they would re-investigate the alleged crime, while one of Ronaldo’s principal sponsors, Nike, have said they are ‘deeply concerned.’
Aveiro describes the claims made against Ronaldo as ‘rubbish’ and says the people of his home island of Madeira stand behind him.