Wayne Rooney has apologised to his family and Derby after images emerged on Sunday appearing to show the former England striker asleep in a hotel room surrounded by a group of young women.
The Derby manager was speaking after his side’s pre-season friendly against Real Betis on Wednesday.
Images were circulated on Sunday, gaining attention on social media and appeared to show Rooney asleep with women beside him.
The 35-year-old father of four has purchased the copyright on the pictures for a nominal £1.
Cheshire Police confirmed on Tuesday that they had dropped a complaint of blackmail made concerning the images.
What has Wayne Rooney said?
“I made a mistake,” Derby manager Rooney told Sky Sports after the Championship club’s friendly against Real Betis on Wednesday.
“I went to a private party with two of my friends and from me, I’d like to apologise to my family and the club for the images which were going round and I want to move forward on this.
“I’m grateful to Derby County for giving me this opportunity to get this club back to where it belongs, and I’ll do everything in my power to make sure I do that.
“It’s dealt with. I’m looking forward to moving forward and preparing for another game on Sunday.”
What did Rooney’s spokesman say?
A spokesman for Wayne Rooney said: "The three girls who took the photographs contacted Wayne's lawyers and volunteered to hand over all pictures that were taken that night and the copyrights in them.
"They have also, at their own suggestion, made a written apology to him for the events that took place and the embarrassment caused.
“It would be wrong to say no money changed hands because when a contract is drawn up there must be a sum and in this case it was a nominal £1.”
What’s next for Rooney?
Rooney, who is England’s record goalscorer with 53 goals. has been manager of Championship side Derby County since November 2020.
The Rams host Notts County in a friendly on Sunday ahead of their opening match of the Championship season on Saturday, 7 August against Huddersfield Town.
A version of this article originally appeared on NationalWorld.com