AP Photo/Jon Super, File
US District Judge Jennifer Dorsey dismissed a civil lawsuit filed by former model Kathryn Mayorga concerning rape allegations from 2009 against Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo because of “bad faith” actions by her attorney, Leslie Mark Stovall.
Ken Ritter of the Associated Press reported Dorsey ruled Friday the case couldn’t proceed because evidence used by Mayorga’s legal team was obtained through stolen or leaked documents, including communication between Ronaldo and his attorneys.
“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 Mayorga’s claims,” Dorsey said. “Harsh penalties are deserved.”
Mayorga said she met Ronaldo at a Vegas nightclub and joined him with other people in his hotel suite, where she said the sexual assault later took place. Ronaldo has maintained they had consensual sex.
She met with police the following day but didn’t provide investigators with Ronaldo’s name or location of the alleged assault.
In 2018, Mayorga filed the civil case in Nevada—it was later moved from state court to federal court—and police also decided to reopen the criminal investigation after Mayorga requested they do so.
Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said in July 2019 no charges would be filed because there wasn’t enough evidence to prove Mayorga’s allegations beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
Mayorga, who received $375,000 from Ronaldo in 2010 as part of a confidentiality agreement following her saying he had raped her, moved forward with the civil lawsuit seeking more than $68 million in damages.
Her legal team argued documents published by German outlet Der Spiegel invalidated the prior deal, and Stovall said during the case his client lacked the “mental capacity” to sign the 2010 agreement, per Ritter.
Neither legal team has publicly commented on Friday’s ruling.
Ronaldo is in his second stint with Manchester United after stops with Sporting Lisbon, Real Madrid and Juventus throughout his club career.
The 37-year-old forward is also captain of Portugal’s national team, which qualified for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The event kicks off in November.
Mayorga’s attorneys can appeal Friday’s ruling to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.