Cristiano Ronaldo admits paying $375,000 in 2010 to settle sexual assault claim
Soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo‘s lawyers revealed for the first time in court documents the amount he paid to settle allegations that he raped a woman in a Las Vegas hotel in 2009.
Kathryn Mayorga has maintained that Ronaldo paid $375,000 in a settlement and confidentiality agreement after she accused him of sexual assault. The agreement is at the heart of a lawsuit Mayorga filed in state court in 2018 seeking to invalidate the agreement.
The Portuguese footballer, who currently plays for Juventus, insists the encounter was consensual. In a motion filed Friday asking to dismiss Mayorga’s lawsuit, Ronaldo’s legal team acknowledged he paid $375,000 “to maintain the confidentiality of their dispute.”
Mayorga’s lawsuit, which was refiled in federal court, asks the court to invalidate the 2010 agreement on the grounds that Ronaldo and his legal team took advantage of her fragile emotional state to coerce her into signing it.
Ronaldo’s motion argues that Nevada’s statute of limitations and the confidentiality agreement bar Mayorga’s latest claims. He also argues Mayorga failed to present sufficient evidence that she lacked the mental capacity to agree to the terms.
No criminal charges have been filed in the alleged incident.
Portions of Ronaldo’s motion are redacted, including a part that appears to explain why he signed the agreement, except for this line:
“The [agreement] made clear Mr. Ronaldo disputed [Mayorga’s] allegations and in no way conceded she was injured. To the contrary, the [agreement] stated in no uncertain terms that Mr. Ronaldo was agreeing to pay [Mayorga] a sum of money in order to maintain the confidentiality of their dispute.”
Some details of the agreement had already come out in the lawsuit Mayorga filed last October, which accuses Ronaldo of battery for allegedly sodomizing her. Additional claims against him and his representatives include intentional infliction of emotional distress, coercion and fraud and abuse of a vulnerable person.
Initially, she refused to identify Ronaldo to police, fearing public humiliation, according to her complaint. Weeks later, when she named him in a police interview, a detective told her that she would face retaliation and her actions would be portrayed as extortion attempts, according to the lawsuit. A nurse who examined her shared the same sentiment, Mayorga said in the lawsuit.
“The psychological trauma of the sexual assault, the fear of public humiliation and retaliation and the reiteration of those fears by law enforcement and medical providers left plaintiff terrified and unable to act or advocate for herself,” the lawsuit claims.
Meanwhile, Ronaldo had retained a team of “fixers” who monitored Mayorga, her family, her friends and law enforcement to develop a strategy to prevent the public disclosure of the allegations and criminal prosecution, the lawsuit alleged.
The team communicated with Mayorga’s lawyer at the time, who agreed to private mediation with them. Mayorga’s lawyer did not follow up with Las Vegas police, according to the lawsuit.
According to her complaint, in mediation discussions Ronaldo’s representatives led her to believe they were attempting to compensate her for her injuries, and that agreeing to the settlement precluded her from cooperating with police. In reality, the lawsuit claims, his team was attempting to obstruct a criminal investigation and erode Mayorga’s credibility, thus diminishing her chances of pursuing a claim for civil damages. The allegations form the basis of Mayorga’s claims of coercion and fraud, racketeering and civil conspiracy, and abuse of process.
Knowing she was a “vulnerable person,” Ronaldo’s team threatened to portray her as having consented to sex and then making a false claim so she could extort Ronaldo for money, the lawsuit claims.
But Ronaldo’s motion says that what Mayorga calls a “threat” was actually “a truthful assertion that he intended to defend himself.”
Ronaldo responds to the claims
Ronaldo’s motion claims the confidentiality agreement did not prevent Mayorga from communicating with law enforcement. Rather, the agreement “provided for cooperation with any ‘subpoena or legal process which may require disclosure of Confidential information.'”
The motion also accuses Mayorga of failing to provide specific details for when the alleged threats and misrepresentations were made, or who made them. Ronaldo argues that the allegations are time-barred by Nevada’s statute of limitations and that Mayorga’s actions after the encounter undermine her claims that she was unable to advocate for herself.
“The insistence [Mayorga] was incapacitated or incompetent to file suit within the applicable statute of limitations is completely belied by the undisputed fact that she immediately reported the alleged Incident to LVMPD and within months, indeed made civil claims against Mr. Ronaldo,” his motion says.
The Clark County District Attorney’s Office has said that Mayorga called police to report the incident in 2009. Detectives met her at the hospital, but she refused to identify the perpetrator or disclose where the crime occurred, leading them to close the case.
Her complaint says that she named Ronaldo weeks later in a police interview, but a detective told her that she would face retaliation. A nurse who examined her shared the same sentiment, Mayorga said in the lawsuit.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department reopened the case at Mayorga’s request in August 2018. The District Attorney’s Office announced in July that they had declined to press criminal charges, saying the case could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.