A story that has been flying under the radar a bit in the U.S. has been the account of a woman who accused Cristiano Ronaldo of rape in 2009. The woman, Kathryn Mayorga, went public with details of the incident to Der Spiegel.
One of the reporters on that story, Antje Windmann, sat for a fascinating interview with Deadspin’s Laura Wagner. Some highlights:
DS: Why do you think you were approached for that part of the participation? Did you and your team think it was important from the very outset to have a woman doing this part of the reporting?
AW: I think in general it makes sense in reporting about sexual assault to have a woman involved. Because what you want is to have people open up in interviews and talk about their inner feelings. And in this case, to also discuss the alleged trauma. I think this interview situation has a better foundation when it’s a woman doing the interview. But also I am very experienced in interviewing people with trauma, [who have experienced] sexual assault, and have PTSD. And the team was also looking for someone who was going to write this piece down in the end. So I had some characteristics that were needed.
(Later on, from Windmann)
So when writing this, when you bring everything home about what you have researched, to me the most important thing was to be balanced in the writing. This is almost impossible when you just have one side talking. I would have loved to sit down and talk with [Ronaldo]. All of us would have liked to listen to his version. But it didn’t happen. So I didn’t want to put in things where I had no substance, to make this story apparently stronger. There might be assumptions that he did something in the past and that would have been—I would have had to moderate things or make up the readers mind for them. As it is, it is almost free of interpretation, I think that’s what I hope I achieved. And so that’s why I also didn’t want to put [the 2005 allegation] in. I just wanted to write down exactly what we had about this case.