A federal judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit from a Nevada woman who sought millions of dollars from soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, who she said raped her in a Las Vegas hotel suite in 2009–a claim Ronaldo has long denied.
District Court Judge Jennifer Dorsey noted the case had “devolved into a clash” over documents the plaintiff, Kathryn Mayorga, relied on to make her case, which were stolen records between Ronaldo and his attorneys that were leaked to German news outlet Der Spiegel and published in 2017.
The suit argued the publication of the documents violated a 2010 confidentiality agreement between Ronaldo and Mayorga, which involved a $375,000 hush money payment.
The documents were subject to attorney-client privilege, Dorsey ruled, making them essentially unusable in the case.
Dorsey said Mayorga’s attorney committed “abuses and flagrant circumvention of the proper litigation process” by using the records, dismissing the case with prejudice, meaning Mayorga cannot refile, though the judge’s decision can be appealed.
Mayorga’s attorney, Leslie Mark Stovall, did not immediately return a request for comment from Forbes.
Forbes typically does not publish the names of people who claim sexual assault, but Mayorga waived her right to anonymity in the case.
The lawsuit was filed in October 2018, leading to the reopening of a police investigation into the alleged assault, which threatened to derail Ronaldo’s career. Calls quickly emerged for sponsors to drop the soccer star, who was briefly left off of Portugal’s national team after the suit was filed. The Clark County district attorney decided against pressing charges against Ronaldo in 2019.
$115 million. That’s how much Forbes estimates Ronaldo earned over the past year, making him the world’s third highest-paid athlete.
Ronaldo faces growing heat from sponsors over rape case (Associated Press)
HIGHEST-PAID ATHLETES (Forbes)