David Villa has been accused of sexual assault by a New York City FC intern who claimed: “He touched me every day.”
Spain’s record scorer and 2010 World Cup winner Villa, 38, was the first signing for sister club Manchester City in the Big Apple and played for the MLS team between 2014 and 2018.
Villa denies claims that he groped on Skyler Badillo, who was 20 years old when he began working with the club in 2018, and that he made the allegations public on his personal Twitter account in July.
In an interview with The Athletic, Badillo alleged that Villa repeatedly told her that he loved her, touched her inappropriately, and that her bosses did not take her complaints seriously.
He also claimed that former Barcelona star Villa offered him alcohol when he was under the age of 21 in the US.
Badillo told The Athletic: “I thought I was having the opportunity of a lifetime when I got that internship.
“What I got was David Villa played me every damn day and my bosses thought it was great comedy stuff.”
What I got was David Villa played me every damn day and my bosses thought it was great comedy stuff. “
Badillo worked alongside Kevin Christen, now 38, the team’s head coach, and Melvyn Pamplona, 34, and the assistant coach in charge of the interns.
Badillo claimed that when she reached for an item next to Villa in the locker room, he took her hand and stroked it while looking directly at her.
She added: “He started telling me that he loved me that week.
“That would end up being a constant. He would tell other people, that he loved me. If he left the room, he would yell it out. If Melvyn was there, he would tell Melvyn that he loved me.
“His son was sitting on his lap and he told me he loved me.”
Badillo alleged that there was an incident in which Villa pressed her against the counter with his hands on her hips.
She said: “I was cutting tape, getting her ready for Monday morning training, because there wasn’t much to do.
“He was standing there with his back to David.
“He got up and walked behind me, put his hands on my hips and pressed me against the counter where I was standing and whispered in my ear that I should ‘watch out for men in town.’
“And then he was gone… I looked at Kevin and Kevin was looking at me. He had seen it all. “
He got up and walked behind me and put his hands on my hips and pressed me against the counter. “
Villa allegedly approached Badillo in the presence of his bosses and asked him if “he likes the party.”
Badillo explained: “He began to ask me what kind of alcohol I drink, what… I was 20 years old at the time.
“I was like ‘I really don’t drink.’ I was wondering ‘well what kind of alcohol should I buy’ so I can go to his apartment to a party.
“I looked at Melvyn and said, ‘I don’t think this is a good conversation to have,’ hoping that he will help me. And his answer was only [to say] ‘Well, it was just a question.’
A Villa spokesperson told The Athletic Badillo that the claims are “false.”
They said, “While David has never faced these kinds of issues before, he appreciates the seriousness of this matter and believes it is important to encourage people to speak up about their concerns.
“When David first learned of this situation two years after he left the team, he fully cooperated with the investigation and, as he has said from the beginning, any allegation of inappropriate behavior is false.”
The club launched an investigation into Badillo’s allegations in the summer.
Earlier this month, via ESPN, NYCFC revealed that they found: “A small number of players and staff did not act up to club standards in their interactions with the intern and other club staff.
“This behavior included unnecessary physical contact, teasing, and comments about clothing and appearance.
“The club found this behavior to be inappropriate and unacceptable.”
NYCFC did not name Villa or anyone else in the statement.