Ronaldo's rape lawsuit reportedly dropped

LOS ANGELES • A rape lawsuit against Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo in the United States - that made headlines last year and sent the club's shares down 15 per cent - has been quietly dropped.

A notice of voluntary dismissal was filed last month in Nevada state court in Las Vegas. The filing did not say whether the accuser had reached a settlement with the Portuguese football player.

The New York Times reported in March that Juventus, the Italian Serie A champions, would not participate in the International Champions Cup in the US this summer to avoid the risk that Ronaldo would be detained by authorities as part of a rape investigation.

The 34-year-old publicly denied the allegations and never filed a response to the lawsuit.

Kathryn Mayorga filed a complaint on Sept 27, alleging that she was sexually assaulted by Ronaldo in 2009 in his penthouse suite at a Las Vegas hotel.

Mayorga said in the complaint that while she agreed to a settlement with Ronaldo after the alleged assault, she was experiencing severe emotional trauma at the time and was not competent to participate in the mediation.

Leslie Stovall, a lawyer for Mayorga, and Peter Christiansen, a lawyer for Ronaldo, did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the dismissal.

A five-time winner of football's most prestigious award, the Ballon d'Or, Ronaldo is also the sport's most popular player on social media. His marketing potential supercharged Juventus, with the stock price doubling in the months after the Turin-based team signed him from Spain's Real Madrid on July 10.

Juventus is controlled by Italy's Agnelli family, the biggest investors in carmaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Following the lawsuit last year, Las Vegas police reopened an investigation of the rape allegations.

The New York Times reported in January that law enforcement officials had requested a sample of the player's DNA from Italian authorities.

Las Vegas police officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the status of the investigation.

BLOOMBERG

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 06, 2019, with the headline 'Ronaldo's rape lawsuit reportedly dropped'. Print Edition | Subscribe