A U.S. court has denied Cristiano Ronaldo’s rape accuser’s appeal against a hush-money settlement in 2009.
Kathryn Mayorga alleges that Cristiano Ronaldo raped her at a Las Vegas hotel in 2009 when she was 24. Ronaldo’s lawyers, who deny the allegations, settled with Mayorga and her lawyer, Leslie Mark Stovall, for an amount of £267,000 in 2010.
German news outlet, Der Spiegel, published an article in April 2017 and revealed the details of the confidentiality agreement signed in 2010.
Mayorga’s lawyers later tried to force Ronaldo to pay millions more than the £267,000 in hush money he paid her after she claimed he raped her in Las Vegas in 2009. However, U.S. District Judge Jennifer Dorsey rejected their claim in June 2022.
In March 2023, Mayorga’s lawyer asked the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the dismissal of the case. Stovall argued the federal court judge in Nevada erred in repeatedly rejecting the woman’s attempts to unseal and include as evidence the confidentiality agreement she signed in 2010 in accepting payments from Ronaldo.
The appeal of hush money settlement in Ronaldo’s rape case denied by U.S. court
On Tuesday, a three-judge panel of the San Francisco-based appellate court rejected Mayorga and her lawyer’s claims.
An excerpt of Tuesday’s ruling reads: “The district court clearly recognized the gravity of dismissing the case. and accordingly provided a thorough analysis, amply supported by factual finding. [The 2010 settlement] lay dormant until 2017, when … `Football Leaks’ released hundreds of documents through a cyber hack of Ronaldo’s former attorneys. Despite the settlement and confidentiality agreement between Ronaldo and Mayorga. Stovall sought and used documents from ‘Football Leaks’ — including those clearly marked attorney-client privileged. to prosecute a new lawsuit on behalf of Mayorga against Ronaldo.
“Judge Dorsey properly held that Ronaldo did not waive or otherwise forfeit his claim of attorney-client privilege as to the ‘Football Leaks’ documents. Before the leak, his attorneys employed cybersecurity tools to protect their files. As the district court noted, Ronaldo mistakenly produced the course of ‘navigating this unorthodox predicament,’ kicked off by Mayorga’s counsel’s ‘unprincipled conduct’ long before, and instituted vigorous efforts to protect the documents afterwards. The district court did not abuse its discretion when it found that a case-terminating sanction was appropriate.”