SAO PAULO, Brazil -- Cross-dressing prostitutes lied when they accused AC Milan striker Ronaldo of using drugs and having sex with them during a motel encounter last week, police said Tuesday.
The prostitutes told police they lied because Ronaldo did not want to pay them after finding out they were men, police inspector Carlos Augusto Nogueira said.
When first interrogated by authorities after the April 28 encounter with Ronaldo, the prostitutes said the player had sex with them and asked one of them to buy drugs for him.
Ronaldo vehemently denied the accusations and said one of the prostitutes tried to extort money from him to keep the story to the media. He said he offered to pay the prostitutes even after finding out the were men, but one of them demanded more than offered.
"There was no sex or drugs that night," Nogueira said, adding that one of the prostitutes might still be charged with extortion.
Nogueira said the prostitutes fabricated details of the encounter to try to take advantage of Ronaldo's fame.
In a nationally televised interview on Sunday, Ronaldo said he was sorry, embarrassed and ashamed for his "stupid act."
The three-time FIFA Player of the Year said he "made the stupidest mistake ever."
The case quickly made front-page headlines across Brazil and led to speculations whether Ronaldo would lose some of his sponsors.
UNICEF made a statement Monday saying Ronaldo -- who is in Brazil recovering from knee injury, has never been one of its ambassadors, contrary to what the striker had said in the television interview.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press