'He’s got f***ed… and he's still smiling': Joshua criticized for praising Ronaldo amid rape claims

'He’s got f***ed… and he's still smiling': Joshua criticized for praising Ronaldo amid rape claims
World heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua has come under fire from a British charity after praising Cristiano Ronaldo amid rape allegations against the football star.

Ronaldo is accused of raping 34-year-old Kathryn Mayorga at a Las Vegas hotel in 2009, with German newspaper Der Spiegel reporting that the Juventus star's lawyers paid Mayorga $375,000 in hush money to "never speak about that night."

The player himself has vehemently denied the claims. 

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The Portuguese star also fell foul of Spanish tax laws that saw him fined $22 million in fines and handed a two-year suspended jail sentence for tax fraud offences in Spain.

Ronaldo's seemingly cheery demeanor in the face of these legal issues drew praise from British world heavyweight champion Joshua.

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Speaking at a promotional event ahead of his world title defence against American Jarrell Miller, Joshua heaped praise on the under-fire Portuguese superstar.

"I've always said two things you'd get f***ed for as an athlete is women and tax," said the Brit.

"He's got f***ed for both and he's still smiling, still strong," he said.

"You need mental strength, he's proved that. He's a family man, he's got that aspect, but still out working and he's dedicated to what he does.

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"So as a sportsman he's had the issues of one side, he's got the family on the other side, and he balances what he's passionate about. He completes all the packages, so I like Ronaldo for that reason."

Joshua's comments drew criticism from British sexual violence charity Rape Crisis.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, spokeswoman Katie Russell said it was "inappropriate, insensitive and disrespectful to make jokes or flippant remarks about allegations or instances of sexual violence and abuse in any context."

She also said role models "have a particular responsibility not to trivialize such serious issues.

"Experiences of sexual violence and abuse can have wide-ranging and long-term impacts on victims' and survivors' health, lives, and relationships.

"As a society, we need to develop more empathy and understanding about that if we are ever to see more of those impacted by sexual violence and abuse get the support they need, want, and deserve."