For the past couple of years, soccer great Cristiano Ronaldo has been in the spotlight more for his off-field activity than his goal-scoring. One incident centers on accusations of rape that are still waiting to be discussed in federal court. New documents added to the case by the plaintiff, Kathryn Mayorga, this week show how serious the former model is with her accusations, as she is asking for $78 million in damages. Ronaldo has continued to deny the allegations, which have shined a spotlight on the Palms Casino Resort, the location where the rape is said to have occurred.
Long Fight Ahead for Ronaldo
The alleged incident took place in February 2009 after Ronaldo and Mayorga met at a nightclub at the Palms. They reportedly continued to share the evening in a penthouse at the resort and this is where the details get a little fuzzy. Mayorga asserts that she was raped and then later “coerced” into signing a non-disclosure agreement to remain quiet on the incident. In return, she was paid $375,000 to not move forward with the accusations. However, her frame of mind at the time, according to her statements, was such that she accepted the deal without fully understanding what she was doing.
As a result, she resurfaced later to launch a lawsuit against Ronaldo in 2018. That suit began in a Nevada court but was dropped in favor of a federal lawsuit. This week, Mayorga’s lawyers added more details and laid out the $78-million claim. They want their client to be awarded $25 million for “past pain and suffering,” $25 million for “future pain and suffering,” $25 million in punitive damages, and $3 million for legal expenses. They also want Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes, and Juventus Chairman Andrea Agnelli called to the stand among a total of 60 witnesses they are prepared to question in court.
Difficult Case to Try
Mayorga’s lawyers shifted from a Nevada to a federal venue because they asserted that they were having difficulty serving Ronaldo with a summons. The federal court system is better equipped for lawsuits against foreign nationals and there would be serious implications for the soccer phenom if he were to try to avoid a federal suit. There is still no word on when the case will go to trial, or if the two sides will try to settle. The $78 million represents about two years’ salary for Ronaldo, not including all of the endorsement deals he has, but he’s likely more interested in clearing his name.
Ronaldo previously said rape is “an abominable crime that goes against everything that I am and believe in.” While that statement only carries a certain amount of weight, input from others provides a glimpse at how challenging this case is going to be. Earlier this year, the Clark County District Attorney’s Office said that it couldn’t prosecute Ronaldo because there wasn’t enough evidence to overcome the burden of reasonable doubt. Documents have surfaced that allegedly prove the soccer star worked with his legal allies to cover up the crimes; however, his lawyer has said that the documents were fabricated.