Cristiano Ronaldo’s lawyers have said for the first time that the footballer did pay a woman who accused him of rape €375,000 to settle the allegations made in 2009.
Kathryn Mayorga filed a lawsuit in a state court last year in an effort to have the settlement invalidated on condition that Ronaldo and his legal team took advantage of her fragile emotional state, having accused him of sexually assaulting her after they met on a night out in Las Vegas.
The Juventus footballer denied the allegations and no criminal charges have been filed after Las Vegas prosecutors decided they “cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt”. Ronaldo’s lawyers have claimed that the pair had consensual sex in June 2009, and have accused Ms Mayorga of attempting to extort the Portuguese footballer.
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Ms Mayorga’s legal team refiled the lawsuit in federal court asking for the same invalidation, which seeks monetary damages of at least £165,000.
In a motion filed by Ronaldo’s lawyers on Friday, they acknowledged the €375,000 payment that was made to Ms Mayorga “to maintain the confidentiality of their dispute”. Ronaldo is arguing that Nevada’s statues of limitations and the signed confidentiality agreement should annul her claims, and that she failed to present sufficient evidence on the claim that she lacked the mental capacity to agree to the terms regarding her emotional state in the weeks after the alleged incident.
Earlier this month, Ronaldo lost a bid for dismissal or complete secrecy. Lawyer Larissa Drohobyczer, representing Ms Mayorga, said she was satisfied with US District Judge Jennifer Dorsey’s ruling in Las Vegas on 2 August.
Peter Christiansen, representing the Juventus and Portugal player, declined to comment.
The judge rejected Ronaldo’s claim that releasing court records would have “weaponised the allegations in this case,” risk public scandal and harm Ronaldo’s reputation and endorsements.
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“The cat is already out of the bag about Mayorga’s allegations” and the settlement, Judge Dorsey wrote.
“I’m not satisfied that Ronaldo’s interest in holding Mayorga to her agreement is enough to justify sealing the entire record in this case.”
However, the judge called the settlement between Ronaldo and Mayorga in 2010 a confidential contract between private parties.
“The documents themselves and direct quotes from any of them will remain sealed,” she said.