A Nevada woman has lost her US court bid to force football star Cristiano Ronaldo to pay her millions of dollars more than the 375,000 dollars (£302,000) in hush money she received after alleging that he raped her in Las Vegas in 2009.
A judge in Las Vegas kicked the case out of court late on Friday to punish the woman’s lawyer over bad-faith conduct and the use of stolen confidential documents.
Manchester United and Portugal player Ronaldo’s legal team does not dispute that the two had sex, but maintains the encounter was consensual, and a confidentiality agreement prevents both sides from talking about it.
US district judge Jennifer Dorsey said the conduct of the woman’s lawyer Leslie Mark Stovall and his use of “purloined” confidential documents had tainted the case beyond redemption.
Ms Dorsey said in her 42-page order that dismissing a case outright with no option to file it again is a severe sanction, but she said Ronaldo had been harmed by Mr Stovall’s conduct.
In her ruling, she wrote: “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 (plaintiff Kathryn) Mayorga’s claims.
“Harsh sanctions are merited.”
Ms Mayorga’s legal team have the option of appealing against the decision at the ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
The woman had previously given consent through her legal team to make her name public.