Ronaldo lawyers want lawsuit to go to private arbitration
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo’s lawyers want to push a Nevada woman’s lawsuit accusing the soccer star of raping her in 2009 out of a U.S. court and into closed-door arbitration.
Court documents filed in Las Vegas asked a U.S. judge to declare that a 2010 confidentiality agreement and $375,000 hush-money settlement with Ronaldo’s accuser, Kathryn Mayorga, are still in effect.
Such a ruling would stop the public proceeding and invoke a provision allowing out-of-court mediation between Mayorga, a 35-year-old former schoolteacher and model, and representatives of one of the most recognizable and highly paid players in sports.
Ronaldo, 34, plays in Italy for the Turin-based soccer club Juventus and captains the Portugal national team.
The Associated Press generally does not name people who say they are victims of sexual assault. Mayorga gave consent through her lawyers to be named.
Her attorneys, Leslie Mark Stovall and Larissa Drohobyczer, did not immediately respond Wednesday to telephone, email and text messages.
Ronaldo’s attorney, Peter Christiansen, declined to comment.
Ronaldo’s lawyers have conceded that Ronaldo and Mayorga had consensual sex in 2009 in his suite at a Las Vegas casino hotel. The attorneys deny it was rape.
Mayorga’s lawyers maintain she didn’t break the confidentiality agreement and instead say Ronaldo or his associates allowed reports of it to appear in European publications in 2017.
Lawyers for the soccer star say the information was among electronic data hacked, stolen and sold by cybercriminals, and that Mayorga’s lawsuit is being used “to promote public scandal, circulate libelous statements and gratify public spite.”
Mayorga alleges conspiracy, defamation, breach of contract, coercion and fraud. Her complaint seeks unspecified monetary damages greater than $50,000.
In their newest filing on Aug. 8, Ronaldo’s lawyers disputed assertions by Mayorga’s attorneys that she was so traumatized after the 2009 encounter and by pressure from “fixers’ for Ronaldo that she lacked the capacity or legal competency to enter the settlement.
Mayorga acknowledged undergoing psychological treatment in 2009 and 2010, but Ronaldo’s attorneys said she doesn’t show that a physician found she lacked “legal ‘capacity’ or was in any way ‘incompetent’” to enter the agreement.
Las Vegas police last year began reinvestigating Mayorga’s rape claim, at the request of her attorneys.
Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson decided in June there was not enough evidence to take the 10-year-old case to trial. He declined to file criminal charges.