'Rape allegations interfering my life'

Ronaldo is the subject of a criminal investigation by Las Vegas police and a separate civil action after an allegation of rape made against him by Kathryn Mayorga.

He strenuously denies the allegation, which Mayorga, now 34, claims took place in the summer of 2009.

She alleges the footballer assaulted her in a Las Vegas hotel in 2009, then used 'fixers' to stop her pursuing criminal charges – including paying her $375,000 'hush money'.

Police confirmed the original case was closed in 2009 due to Mayorga not disclosing details but it was reopened in September after she went public, inspired, she said, by the #MeToo movement.

"Of course, this story is interfering in my life," Ronaldo told France Football.

"I have a partner, four children, an ageing mother, sisters, a brother, a family with whom I am very close. Not to mention my reputation, which is that of someone exemplary ...

"Imagine what it means when someone accuses you of rape, whether you have all that or not. I know who I am and what I did.

"Truth will out one day. And the people who criticise me or seek to expose my life today, who make it into a circus, these people will see."

He added: "I explained to my partner. My son, Cristiano Jr, is too young to understand. It’s worst for my mother and my sisters. They are stunned, and at the same time very angry. This is the first time I have seen them in this state."