Juventus President Backs Ronaldo After Rape Accusation

Juventus president Andrea Agnelli is standing by Cristiano Ronaldo as the soccer superstar faces an accusation of rape in the United States.

Agnelli, the son of former Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Umberto Agnelli and a member of the Italian carmaker’s board, spoke Thursday at a club shareholders meeting in Turin, Italy.

“When there are problems I tend to look people in the eyes, ask them the questions directly and then judge them myself,” Agnelli said. “I’m very calm, having spoken to him directly as soon as the case emerged, on his position. And his behaviour in the days and weeks that followed only confirm my initial feeling.”

 Kathryn Mayorga filed a civil lawsuit last month in Nevada, claiming Ronaldo raped her in his Las Vegas hotel room in 2009. Police also reopened an investigation into the allegation at her request.

Ronaldo defended himself against the accusation at a news conference ahead of a UEFA Champions League match this week. His attorney, Peter S. Christiansen, issued a statement on Oct. 10 denying wrongdoing by his client.

 Some of Ronaldo’s corporate sponsors, including Nike Inc. and video game maker EA Sports, have expressed concern about the rape allegation.

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