US Judge Dismisses Las Vegas Rape Allegations Against Cristiano Ronaldo
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The Nevada woman alleged Ronaldo raped her in a hotel room in 2009 - a claim that the Manchester United player has denied, previously saying in a statement: “I firmly deny the accusations being issued against me.
“Rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything that I am and believe in.”
She has now lost her US court bid to force him to pay her millions of dollars more than the 375,000 dollars (£302,000) in hush money she originally received.
The Las Vegas judge kicked the case out of court on Friday (10 June) to punish the woman's lawyer over bad-faith conduct and the use of stolen confidential documents.
US district judge Jennifer Dorsey said the conduct of the woman’s lawyer Leslie Mark Stovall and his use of 'purloined' confidential documents had tainted the case beyond redemption.
In her 42-page order, Dorsey said dismissing a case outright with no option to file it again is a severe sanction, but that Ronaldo had been harmed by Stovall’s conduct.
In her ruling, she wrote: “I find that the procurement and continued use of these documents was bad faith, and simply disqualifying Stovall will not cure the prejudice to Ronaldo because the misappropriated documents and their confidential contents have been woven into the very fabric of (plaintiff Kathryn) Mayorga’s claims.
“Harsh sanctions are merited.”
Ronaldo’s legal team does not dispute that the two had sex, but maintain that the encounter was consensual, and a confidentiality agreement prevents both sides from talking about it.
Last October, Magistrate Judge Daniel Albregts blamed Stovall for basing the case on leaked and stolen documents, which had been considered privileged communications between Ronaldo and his legal team.
In his recommendation to Dorsey, Albregts wrote: "Dismissing Mayorga's case for the inappropriate conduct of her attorney is a harsh result.
"But it is, unfortunately, the only appropriate sanction to ensure the integrity of the judicial process."
At the time, Peter Christiansen, Ronaldo's attorney in Las Vegas, said: "We are pleased with the Court's detailed review of this matter and its willingness to justly apply the law to the facts and recommend dismissal of the civil case against Mr Ronaldo."
In a 2019 interview with Piers Morgan, Ronaldo opened up about the allegation, saying he felt 'embarrassed'.
He said: "They play with your dignity. It's hard. You have a girlfriend, you have a family, you have kids. When they play with your honesty it's bad, it's hard.
"One day I was at home in the living room with my girlfriend and then the news they speak about Cristiano Ronaldo, this and that.
"You listen to your kids coming down the stairs and you change the channel because I was embarrassed, I feel embarrassed."