Cristiano Ronaldo Palms Casino Rape-Claim Case Moves to Federal Court
Posted on: June 6, 2019, 05:17h.
Last updated on: June 6, 2019, 10:29h.
A Nevada lawsuit that accuses Cristiano Ronaldo of raping a woman in the Penthouse suite of the Palms Hotel & Casino 10 years ago has moved to a federal court, the woman’s legal representatives said Wednesday.
News that the state-level civil case had been dropped on Tuesday prompted speculation that the soccer superstar had settled out of court with his accuser, Las Vegas woman Kathryn Mayorga.
But Mayorga’s attorney Larissa Drohobyczer told ESPN the case had been dropped at state level because the legal team were having trouble serving the highly-protected, Italy-based player with a summons and felt it would stand a better chance with a federal case.
“The charges were not dropped,” Drohobyczer said. “The state case was dismissed by us because we filed the identical claims in federal court due to federal court’s rules on serving foreigners. We basically just switched venues, but the claims remain.”
Las Vegas Police Investigations Ongoing
Mayorga is suing Ronaldo — real name Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro — for battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, coercion, fraud, and abuse of a vulnerable person.
She also claims Ronaldo and his team of personal reputation specialists engaged in a “criminal conspiracy” to obstruct a police investigation into the alleged crime by bullying her into signing a non-disclosure agreement and accepting a payout of $375,000.
She says Ronaldo’s “fixers” monitored her friends and family in a bid to prevent disclosure of the allegations.
Mayorga also claims that since the alleged incident she has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. She is seeking general, special, and punitive damages.
Las Vegas police reopened the case last year and confirmed to The Guardian on Wednesday that the investigation was still ongoing. The statute of limitations for violent sexual assault in Nevada is 20 years.
Ronaldo Rape Denial
On Wednesday, Ronaldo — widely considered one of the greatest soccer players of all time — was on form to fire Portugal into the finals of the inaugural UEFA Nations League, scoring a hattrick against Switzerland.
He has denied the allegations against him, stating in October 2008 that “rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything that I am and believe in.”
He added that he refused to “feed the media spectacle created by people seeking to promote themselves at my expense.”
But documents obtained by the German sports magazine Der Spiegal appear to contain an account by a person alleged to be Ronaldo admitting to his legal team that sex with Mayorga had been non-consensual.
The soccer star’s lawyers claim the documents were stolen by hackers and falsified before being leaked to the press.
A hero to millions, Ronaldo is one of the highest paid athletes in the world, earning an estimated $43 million per year on top of his salary from high-profile sponsorship deals with companies like Nike and EA Sports.
Nike has expressed “deep concern” over the allegations.