Portuguese International and Juventus of Italy striker, Cristiano Ronaldo has won a courtroom bid against a woman who accused him of raping her in a Las Vegas hotel in 2009.
Kathryn Mayorga, a former teacher and model had raised questions about the validity of a confidentiality agreement and $375,000 hush money she received from the sports star in 2010.
United States magistrate, Daniel Albregts told Ms. Mayorga’s lawyer, Leslie Mark Stovall that it will be up to a higher-level judge to decide if her effort to obtain more money advances will go to trial or be settled behind closed doors.
Mr. Albregts handles filings and pre-trial arguments in the case but Ronaldo’s lawyers want it dismissed or dealt with in private talks.
The judge said his preliminary review of settlement documents filed under seal in the civil lawsuit led him to agree with Ronaldo’s lawyers that the record should, at least for now remain sealed.
Stovall has however declined to comment on the ruling against her client who lives in the Las Vegas area and had given consent through her lawyers to be identified last year.
According to court documents, Mayorga said she met the Portuguese footballer at a nightclub in 2009 and went with him and other people to his suite at the Palms Hotel and Casino where he allegedly assaulted her in a bedroom.
US prosecutors had in July 2019 said that the 34-year-old Ronaldo who had maintained that the sex was consensual would not face criminal charges over the sexual assault allegations.
Ronaldo’s lawyers, Kendelee Works and Peter Christiansen also maintained that there was no evidence that the 33-year-old Ms. Mayorga was incapacitated or incapable of understanding what she was signing before receiving the hush money.
Ms. Works said in court that the existence of the agreement and payment should never have been disclosed publicly, adding that the contract calls for out-of-court arbitration to resolve the dispute.
Ronaldo’s lawyers maintain that 2017 news reports in Europe about the settlement and payment were based on electronic data which were illegally hacked, stolen and sold by cybercriminals.
They added that they believe the documents have been altered and complained that Ms. Mayorga’s lawsuit was aimed at damaging Ronaldo’s reputation as he has lost several endorsement deals due to the allegation.