|Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo says he was embarrassed by rape allegations. — AFP Photo|
ROME — Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo has admitted he felt "embarrassed" as he tried to shield his family from allegations he raped a woman in the United States.
Ronaldo was accused of sexually assaulting Kathryn Mayorga in a Las Vegas hotel in June 2009.
The Portugal forward, a five-time Champions League winner, strongly denied the claims and the investigation was originally closed 10 years ago.
It reopened in August 2018, shortly before Mayorga filed a civil lawsuit in September and offered details she initially withheld.
Prosecutors announced in July this year that they would not be prosecuting the case because the allegations could not "be proven beyond a reasonable doubt".
The former Manchester United great revealed the allegations had taken a mental toll on him as he sought to protect his children from the reports.
"They play with your dignity," Ronaldo told 'Good Morning Britain' in an interview with Piers Morgan that will air on Tuesday.
"It's hard. You have a girlfriend, you have a family, you have kids. When they play with your honesty, it's bad, it's hard.
"I remember one day I was at home in the living room with my girlfriend watching the television to see the news and they speak about 'Cristiano Ronaldo this and that.'
"I listened to my kids coming down the stairs and I changed the channel because I was embarrassed.
"I just changed the channel for Cristiano Jr not to see that they speak bad about his father about a very bad case." — AFP