US court to hear arguments over payment in Cristiano Ronaldo rape allegation case | Cristiano Ronaldo

A United States appeals court planned to hear on Wednesday from lawyers trying to revive a woman’s bid to force Cristiano Ronaldo to pay millions more than the $375,000 he gave her after she accused him of raping her in Las Vegas in 2009.

An attorney for the woman is asking the court to overturn the dismissal of the case in June 2022 and reopen the civil lawsuit she first filed in Nevada in 2018. Ronaldo has never been charged over the allegations.

The appeal argues the federal court judge in Nevada erred in repeatedly rejecting the woman’s attempts to unseal and include as evidence the confidentiality agreement she signed in 2010 in accepting payments from Ronaldo.

A three-judge panel isn’t expected to issue an immediate ruling after it questions attorneys for Ronaldo and his accuser, Kathryn Mayorga, during oral arguments on Wednesday at a special sitting in Las Vegas.

The Associated Press generally does not name people who say they are victims of sexual assault, but Mayorga gave consent through her lawyers, including Leslie Mark Stovall, to make her name public.

Ronaldo is one of the most recognizable and richest athletes in the world. He has played for Real Madrid, Manchester United and Juventus and is one of many high-profile stars to have started a lucrative career in Saudi Arabia.

Las Vegas police reopened a rape investigation after Mayorga’s lawsuit was filed, but after reviewing a police investigation into the claims, Clark county district attorney Steve Wolfson said in 2019 there was not enough evidence to prove the allegations beyond reasonable doubt, and no charges were filed.

Mayorga, a former teacher and model from the Las Vegas area, was 25 when she met Ronaldo at a nightclub in 2009 and went with him and others to his hotel suite. She alleges in her lawsuit filed almost a decade later that Ronaldo, then 24, sexually assaulted her in a bedroom.

Ronaldo, through his lawyers, maintained the sex was consensual. The two reached a confidentiality agreement in 2010 under which Stovall acknowledged that Mayorga received $375,000.

In dismissing the case last year, Judge Jennifer Dorsey in Las Vegas took the unusual step of levying a $335,000 fine against Mayorga’s lead lawyer, Stovall, for acting in “bad faith” in filing the case on his client’s behalf.

“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,” Dorsey’s ruling said. “Harsh sanctions are merited.”

Stovall’s appeal on Mayorga’s behalf, filed in March, calls Dorsey’s ruling “a manifest abuse of discretion” and seeks to open the records and revive the case.

It alleges Mayorga wasn’t bound by the confidentiality agreement because Ronaldo or his associates violated it before a German news outlet, Der Spiegel, published an article in April 2017 titled “Cristiano Ronaldo’s Secret” based on documents obtained from what court filings called “whistleblower portal Football Leaks.”

Ronaldo’s lawyers argued – and the judge agreed – the Football Leaks documents and the confidentiality agreement are the product of privileged attorney-client discussions, there is no guarantee they are authentic and can’t be considered as evidence.