A US judge has recommended dismissing the civil rape case against Cristiano Ronaldo over an incident in Las Vegas more than a decade ago.
Kathryn Mayorga, a former model, alleges Ronaldo attacked her in a hotel room in 2009.
The Portuguese international has always denied allegations of sexual assault, insisting their encounter was consensual.
The criminal case against the Manchester United forward was dropped two years ago, with prosecutors saying there was no likelihood of conviction.
But Mayorga, who has waived her right to anonymity, took up a civil action for damages.
In a recommendation filed Wednesday, magistrate judge Daniel Albregts recommended that Ronaldo’s motion to terminate the case be granted.
Albregts, whose recommendation will be reviewed by a separate judge who is actually hearing the case, blamed Mayorga’s lawyers for the move, saying they had based their case on leaked communications between Ronaldo and his legal team, which were privileged.
“Dismissing Mayorga’s case for the inappropriate conduct of her attorney is a harsh result,” Albregts wrote.
But “if the court does not grant case-terminating sanctions, (her lawyer’s) actions could have far-reaching, dangerous consequences on the legitimacy of the judicial process.”
Ronaldo’s lawyer Peter Christiansen welcomed the recommendation.
“We are pleased with the court’s detailed review of this matter and its willingness to justly apply the law to the facts and recommend dismissal of the civil case against Mr. Ronaldo,” he said.
There was no immediate response to an AFP request for comment from Mayorga’s lawyers.