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One scalp they didn’t want: Why Cristiano Ronaldo accusations are a dangerous test for #MeToo

Friday - 05/10/2018 23:03
Campaigners risk a furious backlash if they mete out the same rough justice to Cristiano Ronaldo as they did to less popular suspects, and charges of hypocrisy if they don’t “believe” his accuser just because he is a sports icon.
Not everyone wants to see this man fall / Reuters
Not everyone wants to see this man fall / Reuters

Allegations concerning the Portuguese footballer are a magnitude more grave and specific than many that have already derailed lives and careers since the #MeToo campaign began a year ago. Woody Allen is being shunned due to 25-year-old charges of which he has been legally cleared, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh faces public disgrace on the basis of a claim that lacks a place, date or any corroboration. Comedian Aziz Ansari lost his reputation for a single encounter that appeared to break no laws, while New York Review of Books editor Ian Buruma lost his job for merely publishing an article by a man accused of sexual abuse (who himself was pronounced not guilty in court).

'Don't do it'

Whereas many #MeToo incidents were lapses of social etiquette, Ronaldo is accused of an outright crime – assaulting and anally raping a woman in a hotel room. While new details will probably yet emerge and narratives will be contested, what German magazine Der Spiegel revealed last week is substantial and backed by what they say is “hundreds of documents.”

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