Lawyers for Cristiano Ronaldo are attempting to block Las Vegas police from releasing records to the New York Times regarding their investigation into the allegation that the international soccer star raped a woman in 2009.
In November, the Metropolitan Police Department informed Ronaldo’s lawyers that the agency was set to release redacted files to the newspaper, including “the crime report and property records; voluntary statements, a declaration of warrant/summons and communications to and from LVMPD regarding the investigation,” court records show.
That prompted a Dec. 1 filing from Ronaldo’s lawyers for a protective order in federal court that would bar the Police Department from releasing the documents. A hearing on the protective order has not been scheduled.
Although Metro had indicated it would release records to the Times, a similar records request from the Las Vegas Review-Journal was denied on Thursday.
The department said the records could not be released because they “pertain to a sexual offense victim” and because Ronaldo was never arrested.
“Here, to the extent records accusing the subject of criminal activity exist, there has never been an arrest,” Metro wrote in a letter included with the denied records request. “As such, a privacy interest arises making any such records confidential.”
The Times said declining to release the records is an “improper attempt to interfere with the public’s right to see governmental documents.”
“The Las Vegas police have a legal obligation to release documents that are public under the Nevada Public Records Act — as the police have acknowledged in this case,” Danielle Rhoades, a spokeswoman for the New York Times, wrote in an emailed statement.
Attorneys for Metro did not respond to a request for comment.
Leaked and stolen documents
In October, U.S. Magistrate Judge Daniel Albregts ruled that attorney Leslie Stovall acted in bad faith while representing Kathryn Mayorga, who sued Ronaldo and accused him of rape.
Albregts recommended that the case be dismissed and ruled that Stovall based the entire civil case on leaked and stolen documents that were privileged information between Ronaldo and his lawyers.
In court documents, Stovall argued that his actions were justified because he did not steal the documents and it could not be proved that they were stolen.
Ronaldo’s lawyers, Peter Christiansen, Kendelee Works and Keely Perdue, wrote in the Dec. 1 filing that the police records should not be released because they contain the stolen documents.
“Defendant’s interest in maintaining the attorney-client privilege substantially outweighs any public right of access and, thus, the subject documents should be protected,” Ronaldo’s lawyer’s wrote.
Ronaldo, now 36, is one of the most recognizable and highly paid players in sports. He has captained the Portugal soccer team and plays for the English Premier League club Manchester United.
Mayorga, 37, is a former teacher and model who lives in Las Vegas.
The two met at a nightclub inside the Palms in June 2009 and later went with other people to Ronaldo’s hotel suite, where she said he assaulted her in a bedroom, according to the lawsuit.
Mayorga made a report with Metro, but the investigation was dropped because she did not identify her alleged attacker, Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said in 2019.
Wolfson decided not to file criminal charges based on a new investigation in 2018, because he said too much time had passed and evidence failed to show that the case could be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
In 2010, Mayorga entered a deal with Ronaldo’s representatives in which she received $375,000 after she said she was sexually assaulted in a Las Vegas hotel.
Ronaldo’s attorneys have said that she and Ronaldo had sex, but that it was consensual.
The settlement was publicized by German news outlet Der Spiegel in 2017, in an article based on documents from a whistleblower called “Football Leaks.”
Albregts wrote in October that Stovall never sought an ethics opinion before pursuing the documents from Football Leaks.
Mayorga submitted the Football Leaks documents to Metro when she requested the department reopen its investigation, Ronaldo’s lawyers wrote in the December filing.
The police file has about 400 additional documents that have never been disclosed in the federal civil case, according to court documents.
Ronaldo’s lawyers also wrote that disclosing the records would violate his and Mayorga’s privacy.
“Public disclosure of LVMPD’s investigative file will certainly result in improper use of the documents in order to promote a public scandal and circulate libelous statements, just as it has thus far,” the lawyers wrote.
Attorneys for Mayorga and Ronaldo did not respond to requests for comment.