A US district judge on Saturday dismissed the Las Vegas rape lawsuit against Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo.
Federal judge Jennifer Dorsey ruled that the suit filed by the woman was based on "purloined" confidential documents obtained by her attorney which had "tainted" her case.
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 that Ronaldo had been harmed by the conduct of the woman's lawyer, Leslie Mark Stovall.
The judge's written verdict, as per goal.com was: "(Woman name) loses her opportunity to pursue this case and attempt to unwind the settlement of claims that, themselves, implicate serious allegations of a highly personal nature."
"But in light of the depth and breadth with which the ill-gotten information has saturated her claims and other filings--and likely her memory and perceptions of key facts--any other sanction would be an inadequate remedy."
"Nothing less than a with-prejudice dismissal will purge the taint that has permeated this case from its very inception and preserve the integrity of the litigation process."
Ronaldo had paid the woman USD 375,000 in a settlement after she claimed he raped her in Las Vegas in 2009.
Women's counsel, Leslie Stovall, had obtained documents related to the sexual assault case from Football Leaks creator Rui Pinto, which the judge ruled were confidential and privileged and therefore inadmissible as evidence.
"Stovall's repeated use of stolen, privileged documents to prosecute this case has every indication of bad-faith conduct," the judge added. "And because the record shows that he and Mayorga have extensively reviewed these documents and used them to fashion the very basis of Mayorga's claims, simply disqualifying Stovall will not purge the prejudice from their misuse."
"Stovall deliberately sought out his adversary's hacked, internal, privileged communications. Once he received them, he didn't seek ethical guidance on how to handle these clearly sensitive documents."
"Instead, he gave them to his client, ensuring that they would contaminate her memory and perception of events, and he built her complaint on their contents, as evidenced by plaintiff's sworn verification. With that adulterated die cast, he then sat on the documents for fourteen months, nine of which he was actively litigating this case," judge pointed.