TURIN, Italy (AP) — Juventus president Andrea Agnelli is standing by Cristiano Ronaldo as the soccer superstar faces an accusation of rape in the United States.
Speaking at a club shareholders meeting, Agnelli says “when there are problems I tend to look people in the eyes, ask them the questions directly and them judge them myself. … I’m very calm, having spoken to him directly as soon as the case emerged, on his position. And his behavior in the days and weeks that followed only confirm my initial feeling.”
Agnelli is the son of former Fiat CEO Umberto Agnelli and serves on the Italian car maker’s board.
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 Champions League match this week. His attorney, Peter S. Christiansen, issued a statement on Oct. 10 denying wrongdoing by his client.