US court recommends dismissal of rape case against Cristiano Ronaldotext_fields
Los Angeles: A federal judge in Nevada recommended the dismissal of soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo's rape lawsuit on Wednesday.
In a recommendation filed Wednesday, magistrate judge Daniel Albregts recommended that Ronaldo's motion to terminate the case be granted.
Albregts, whose recommendation will be reviewed by a separate judge who is actually hearing the case, blamed Mayorga's lawyers for the move, saying they had based their case on leaked communications between Ronaldo and his legal team, which were privileged.
"Dismissing Mayorga's case for the inappropriate conduct of her attorney is a harsh result," Albregts wrote.
But "if the court does not grant case-terminating sanctions, (her lawyer's) actions could have far-reaching, dangerous consequences on the legitimacy of the judicial process."
Kathryn Mayorga, a former model, had alleged that Ronaldo attacked her in a hotel room in 2009. The Portuguese international has always denied allegations of sexual assault, insisting their encounter was consensual.
The criminal case against the Manchester United forward was dropped two years ago, with prosecutors saying there was no likelihood of conviction.
But Mayorga, who has waived her right to anonymity, took up a civil action for damages.
Mayorga had sued the soccer star for over $375,000, the amount Ronaldo paid her in a confidentiality agreement in 2010 after she claimed he assaulted her in a hotel room in June 2009.
Mayorga said Ronaldo violated that agreement when reports about it were published in a 2017 article called "Cristiano Ronaldo's Secret" which was based on content from "whistleblower portal Football Leaks," the AP noted.
Ronaldo's lawyer Peter Christiansen welcomed the recommendation.
"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," he said.
There was no immediate response to an AFP request for comment from Mayorga's lawyers.