Villarreal's Alex Baena has denied that comments about Federico Valverde's unborn son led the Real Madrid midfielder to punch him after Villarreal's 3-2 win at the Bernabeu on Saturday, calling it an attempt to "justify the aggression" against him.
Sources told ESPN that Valverde had been angered by remarks Baena first made when the teams met in January, at a time when the Uruguay international and his pregnant partner believed they had lost their child.
"Last Saturday I was assaulted by a colleague at the end of the Real Madrid game," Baena said in a statement published on Twitter on Monday.
"After the event, statements presumably made by his entourage came to light, in which it was said that I had wished pain on a family member [of his]. Since then, of course, no evidence has been published to prove the allegations made against me.
"An unfortunate event was used to justify the aggression, and there are lies that hurt more than blows. The damage that is being done to my family is irreparable and unjustifiable: threats, insults and even private messages wishing death on my family. [On Sunday] I filed a complaint with the police. Let's let justice do its job."
Valverde's partner, Mina Bonino, responded in a Twitter thread later on Monday.
"Imagine that after dealing with [the baby's health scare] someone tells you that you're taking advantage of an unfortunate event," she said. "It breaks my heart ... we've never incited violence at any time, I'm sorry there have been threats. I receive them too, that's out of my hands.
"I want to stay quiet, I don't want to keep going over this, but please. Having to read that we're taking advantage of an unfortunate event hurts me.
"I'm not a spokesperson for anyone. I'm talking about my pain, and if [Valverde] isn't coming out to speak today, it's because he doesn't want to relive what happened again."
Valverde -- who has not spoken publicly about the incident -- is expected to feature in Madrid's Champions League quarterfinal first leg against Chelsea on Wednesday.
"Provocation is mitigation, but it's never justification of what happened," LaLiga president Javier Tebas said when asked about the case on Tuesday. "It will be [Spain's] Antiviolence [Commission] which has to impose the corresponding sanctions. It's a reprehensible action, and the provocation has not been proven."