Image Source: CNBC
A Nevada woman has lost her quest in a US court to compel Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo to return millions of dollars in hush money she received after alleging he raped her in Las Vegas in 2009.
On Friday, Jennifer Dorsey, a US district judge in Las Vegas, dismissed the lawsuit against the woman’s attorney, Leslie Mark Stovall, for “bad faith behavior” and the use of leaked and stolen documents exposing communications between Ronaldo and his lawyers.
Dorsey claimed Stovall had polluted the case beyond redemption in a 42-page order. She also stated that dismissing a case with no ability to re-file was a harsh punishment, but Stovall’s actions had injured Ronaldo.
Requests for a response from Stovall and an associate, Larissa Drohobyczer, were ignored. The ruling could be appealed to the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. Peter Christiansen, Ronaldo’s attorney in Las Vegas, could not be reached right away.
California Observer does not usually name people who claim to have been sexual assault victims, but Mayorga agreed to have her name published.
Stovall failed to meet a deadline in his bid for more than $25 million in damages based on allegations that Ronaldo or his associates violated a 2010 confidentiality agreement by allowing reports about it to appear in European publications in 2017. Dorsey signaled earlier this year that she was ready to end the case after Stovall failed to meet a deadline in his bid for more than $25 million in damages based on allegations that Ronaldo or his associates violated a 2010 confidentiality agreement by letting reports about it appear
Mayorga’s civil lawsuit, which was filed in state court in 2018 and moved to federal court in 2019, claimed that Ronaldo or associates broke the confidentiality agreement before the German newspaper Der Spiegel published an article titled Cristiano Ronaldo’s Secret, which was based on documents obtained from “whistleblower portal Football Leaks.”
According to Ronaldo’s legal team, the reports were blamed on electronic data leaks from law firms and other entities. Christiansen said that information had been tampered with or made up.
Mayorga has worked as a model and a teacher. In her case, she claims she met Ronaldo at a bar and went to his hotel with him and others, where she claims he assaulted her in a bedroom. At the time, she was 25 years old. He was 24 years old. Ronaldo’s legal team does not deny that he met Mayorga and had sex with him in June 2009 but insists that it was consensual.
Mayorga reported the assault to Las Vegas police, but the investigation was discontinued because she did not identify her claimed attacker or provide information about where the crime occurred, according to police and prosecutors.
Ronaldo, at 37, is one of the world’s highest-paid athletes, having played for Manchester United and Portugal. In addition, he played for Real Madrid and Juventus in Turin for numerous years.
After Mayorga’s complaint, Las Vegas police reopened their rape investigation, but Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson opted not to pursue criminal charges. According to the elected public prosecutor in Las Vegas, Mayorga’s charge could not be proved to a jury because too much time had passed, and evidence had failed to indicate that Mayorga’s accusation could be proven to a jury.
Mayorga did not violate the hush-money agreement, according to Stovall. Instead, Ronaldo and reputation-protection “fixers” were accused of conspiracy, defamation, breach of contract, coercion, and fraud in her complaint, which sought to have it thrown out. Stovall estimated damages at $25 million-plus costs in documents filed last year.
According to the attorney, Mayorga had learning impairments as a youngster and was under such duress from Ronaldo’s attorneys and advisers that she could not consent to the dismissal of her criminal case and the payment of $375,000 in August 2010.
Dorsey acted on the advice of a US magistrate court, Daniel Albregts, who recommended that the case be dismissed due to bad faith, Stovall’s “inappropriate conduct,” and reliance on leaked and stolen data.