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Prostitute Transvestites Accuse Soccer Star Ronaldo of Threatening to Harm Them

Police on Tuesday were investigating after three transvestites accused Brazilian soccer star Ronaldo of threatening to harm them after he discovered they were men at a Rio de Janeiro motel.

Police said they also were looking into an accusation by the 31-year-old player that one of the three men tried to extort nearly $30,000 from him.

The AC Milan forward — a three-time World Player of the Year — claims the man threatened to go to the media about the incident unless he paid up.

Ronaldo, who is back in his hometown recovering from an injury, left a nightclub in the posh Barra da Tijuca neighborhood early on Monday.

According to police, he was with three call girls but later found out they were men.

He then offered each of them about $600 to wrap up the matter, but only two of them accepted the deal, the officers said.

"I have to check both sides of the story, the transvestites' version and Ronaldo's," police chief Carlos Augusto Nogueira said.

"Ronaldo said he is not good in the head and that he is going through psychological problems because of his recent surgery."

In a statement, Ronaldo said he was a victim of extortion and would take all possible steps to clear his name, according to the Globo television network Web site.

Representatives for Ronaldo were not immediately available for comment.

The player suffered a career-threatening knee injury in February in a match against Livorno.

Ronaldo suffered a similar injury in his right knee when playing for Inter Milan in 2000.