Cristiano Ronaldo’s lawyer Peter Christiansen insisted a warrant for the Juventus superstar’s DNA is a “very standard request” amid the ongoing investigation into a rape allegation. American Kathryn Mayorga has accused Ronaldo of sexually assaulting her in a hotel in Las Vegas in 2009, with the Portugal captain having come out to “firmly deny” the claims. German publication Der Spiegel first reported the accusations, which also included the suggestion Ronaldo paid Ms Mayorga $375,000 (£288,000) in 2010 as part of a privacy agreement, preventing her from going public with the allegations. Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ms Mayorga filed a lawsuit in an attempt to quash that agreement while Las Vegas police have re-opened an investigation. On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that police in Las Vegas police had requested a sample of Ronaldo’s DNA, citing “a law-enforcement official with knowledge of the case.” The report also claims that a warrant was recently sent to the court system in Italy. Christiansen has previously confirmed that the payment was made to Ms Mayorga, but said documents presented as evidence had been “stolen” and “completely fabricated”. “To be clear, Mr Ronaldo vehemently denies all of the allegations in the complaint and has consistently maintained that denial for the last nine years,” Christiansen said in a statement in October. “The documents which purportedly contain statements by Mr Ronaldo and have been reported in the media are complete fabrications. It is my understanding that in 2015, dozens of entities [including law firms] across many different industries throughout Europe were hacked and their electronic data was stolen and captured by a cyber criminal. “This hacker attempted to sell this data, and one media outlet has now irresponsibly published the stolen documents, significant portions of which were altered and/or completely fabricated. To absolve any doubt, Mr Ronaldo has always maintained, as he does today, that what occurred in 2009 in Las Vegas was consensual in nature. “While Mr Ronaldo does not deny the existence of the mutual agreement and release, his motivations for agreeing to that resolution have been twisted to say the least. “Far from any admission of guilt or any ulterior motive, Mr Ronaldo was advised to privately resolve the allegations against him in order to avoid the inevitable attempts that are now being made to destroy a reputation that has been built upon hard work, athleticism and honour. “Unfortunately, he now finds himself embroiled in the type of litigation that is all too commonplace in America.” Furthermore, following the report that a DNA sample has been requested, Christiansen game a statement to Omnispor t, saying: “Mr Ronaldo has always maintained, as he does today, that what occurred in Las Vegas in 2009 was consensual in nature. “So it is not surprising that DNA would be present, nor that the police would make this very standard request as part of their investigation.” Ronaldo, 33, has scored a league-high 14 goals in Serie A and 15 in all competitions for Italian champions Juve this season, having arrived from Real Madrid in July.
Whistleblowers are being offered a “witness protection scheme” to expose “wrongdoing” in the technology industry. An American non-for-profit organisation founded by a French entrepreneur and philanthropist has said it will provide individuals working within “big data” financial and legal support if they are able provide information that shows how the public is being “harm[ed], exploited or misled”.The Signals Network, which was set up last year, is working with a consortium of journalists around the world and aims to provide assistance to potential whistle-blowers to ensure that powerful corporations can be investigated. Newspapers and websites in America and Europe, including The Telegraph, have issued a “call for information” to people working in “big data” who are able to show how the public are being misled or that the information they have provided is being misused.Other organisations involved in the project include Mediapart, which was set up by the former editor of Le Monde, Die Viet in Germany, the Intercept and WikiTribune.The reporters will work together to examine information that is provided and a committee will decide whether potential sources have provided sufficiently strong information to warrant support from the organisation.In recent years, concerns have arisen about the role of technology companies and how “big data” may be being misused by firms. Earlier this year, it emerged that a Cambridge professor used a personality quiz on Facebook to obtain data from 50 million users without their knowledge. The academic then allegedly passed the data to a company called Cambridge Analytica, in violation of Facebook’s rules and without the company knowing.It also emerged that Cambridge Analytica harvested data on 50 million Americans without their permission and failed to ensure the data was deleted – it was allegedly used to develop an algorithm used in the US presidential election to target voters for the Trump campaign. The controversy led to more than $36 billion (£26 billion) being wiped off the value of Facebook, as investors reacted to the revelations. The firm have denied that the data available to Cambridge Analytica constituted a data breach and any wrongdoing.Earlier this month, experts said that social media and online gaming firms should have a “duty of care” to protect children from mental ill health, abuse and addictive behaviour, amid concerns that social media firms are cynically targeting children using addictive “hooks”.The Signals was set up by French businessman Giles Raymond and has an operating budget of several hundred of thousands of dollars to provide financial, legal, psychological and public relations assistance to individuals who are able to provide information that exposes wrongdoing. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Mr Raymond found a company News Republic that was bought by Cheetah Mobile in 2016 for $57 million. In 2017, he founded the Signals Network. The Signals Network aims to provide the equivalent of a witness protection program for whistle-blowers. Today’s “Call for Information”, which was made by the newspapers and websites, asked for whistle-blowers to provide information that exposed wrongdoing, but also that could “shed light on commonly misunderstood or questioned practices, for example, why companies have chosen specific product updates and their effect on consumers”.Once the information has been provided to the reporters, each case will be “vetted” by a committee, and, based on the public interest and risk exposure, the Signals Network will decide on the level of protection to be offered. Mr Raymond said: “Talking to whistle-blowers we identified key needs and expectations”. To help support them the organisation “will set up its own equivalent of the witness protection program for qualifying whistleblowers “, he said. To find out more, go to telegraph.co.uk/bigdatacall/ Founder Gilles RaymondCredit:The Signals Network