AP Photo / Jon Super, Phil
U.S. District Judge Jennifer Dorsey dismissed a civil lawsuit filed by former model Kathryn Mayorga over 2009 rape allegations against Manchester United striker Cristiano Ronaldo over “bad faith” actions by her lawyer, Leslie Mark Stovall.
Ken Ritter of the Associated Press reported that Dorsey on Friday ruled that the case could not proceed because evidence used by Mayorga’s legal team was obtained through stolen or leaked documents, including communications between Ronaldo and his lawyers.
“I find that the acquisition and continued use of these documents was bad faith, and simply disqualifying Stovall will not cure Ronaldo’s prejudices because the erroneous documents and their confidential content are woven into the very substance of Mayorga’s allegations,” Dorsey said. “Harmful sanctions are deserved.”
Mayorga said she met Ronaldo at a nightclub in Vegas and joined other people in his hotel suite, where she said the sexual assault later took place. Ronaldo has claimed that they had sex with consent.
She met with police the next day, but did not provide investigators with Ronaldo’s name or the location of the alleged assault.
In 2018, Mayorga filed the civil case in Nevada – it was later moved from a state court to a federal court – and police also decided to reopen the criminal investigation after Mayorga requested it.
Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said in July 2019 that no charges would be filed because there was not enough evidence to prove Mayorga’s allegations beyond a reasonable doubt during the trial.
Mayorga, who received $ 375,000 from Ronaldo in 2010 as part of a confidentiality agreement after she said he had raped her, went ahead with the civil lawsuit, claiming more than $ 68 million in damages.
Her legal team argued for documents published by a German outlet The mirror invalidated the previous agreement, and Stovall said during the case that his client lacked “mental capacity” to sign the 2010 agreement, according to Ritter.
None of the legal teams have publicly commented on Friday’s ruling.
Ronaldo is in his second half with Manchester United after stopping Sporting Lisbon, Real Madrid and Juventus throughout his club career.
The 37-year-old striker is also captain of Portugal’s national team, which qualified for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The event starts in November.
Mayorga’s lawyers can appeal Friday’s ruling to the 9th Court of Appeal.