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A US judge has dismissed the rape lawsuit against footballer Cristiano Ronaldo.
The case made against Manchester United forward claimed he had assaulted a woman in Las Vegas in 2009.
Although the criminal case was thrown out by prosecutors in 2019, the claimant took out a civil case seeking damages over the alleged incident, which Ronaldo has denied.
US District Judge Jennifer Dorsey has now dismissed this case too, it has been confirmed.
The Nevada woman lost her US court bid to force Ronaldo to pay her millions of dollars more than the $375,000 (£302,000) in hush money she received after alleging that he raped her in Las Vegas in 2009.
Judge Dorsey kicked the case out of court late on Friday, 10 June, to punish the woman’s lawyer over bad-faith conduct and the use of stolen confidential documents.
Manchester United and Portugal player Ronaldo’s legal team does not dispute that the two had sex, but maintains the encounter was consensual, and a confidentiality agreement prevents both sides from talking about it.
Dorsey said the conduct of the woman’s lawyer, Leslie Mark Stovall, and his use of 'purloined' confidential documents had tainted the case beyond redemption.
The judge said in her 42-page order that dismissing a case outright with no option to file it again is a severe sanction, but she said Ronaldo had been harmed by Mr Stovall’s conduct.
In her ruling, she wrote: “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 [the plaintiff's] claims.
The woman's legal team have the option of appealing against the decision at the ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
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