A federal judge in Nevada recommended the dismissal of soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo’s rape lawsuit on Wednesday.
Ronaldo has been accused of raping Kathryn Mayorga in Las Vegas over a decade ago.
Magistrate Judge Daniel Albregts recommended the case's dismissal and blamed Mayorga’s attorney, Leslie Mark Stovall, for basing his client's argument on documents that were tied to confidential conversations Ronaldo had with his attorneys, The Associated Press reported.
"Dismissing Mayorga’s case for the inappropriate conduct of her attorney is a harsh result," Albregts said in his report to U.S. District Judge Jennifer Dorsey. "But it is, unfortunately, the only appropriate sanction to ensure the integrity of the judicial process."
Mayorga, a former teacher and model, sued the soccer star for over $375,000, the amount Ronaldo paid her in a confidentiality agreement in 2010 after she claimed he assaulted her in a hotel room in June 2009.
Mayorga said Ronaldo violated that agreement when reports about it were published in a 2017 article called "Cristiano Ronaldo’s Secret" which was based on content from "whistleblower portal Football Leaks," the AP noted.
Stovall argued the documents were admissible in court because he was not the one who stole them. But Albregts said Stovall's decisions were "in bad faith" and "to his client’s — and his profession’s — detriment."
"Mayorga’s case against Ronaldo would probably not exist had Stovall not asked for the Football Leaks documents," Albregts wrote, according to the AP. "There is no possible way for this case to proceed where the court cannot tell what arguments and testimony are based on these privileged documents."
The Hill has reached out to Mayorga's attorney for comment.
Peter Christiansen, the Las Vegas attorney representing Ronaldo said he was "pleased with the court’s detailed review ... and its willingness to justly apply the law to the facts and recommend dismissal of the civil case against Mr. Ronaldo," according to a statement shared with The Hill.
The date for Dorsey to assess the recommendation had not been set as of Thursday, the AP reported.
Ronaldo is one of the highest paid athletes in sports and has captained Portugal's national soccer team in addition to playing for Manchester United.