Ronaldo lawyers seek $626K from woman’s lawyer in Vegas case

Ronaldo is asking a US judge to order a woman's lawyer to pay more than $626,000 for losing a lawsuit to get the international soccer star to pay millions of dollars after claiming in 2018 that Ronaldo raped the woman in Las Vegas. (File/AP)
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Updated 30 June 2022
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Ronaldo lawyers seek $626K from woman’s lawyer in Vegas case

  • In a bluntly worded court document, Ronaldo’s attorney, Peter Christiansen, asks US District Judge Jennifer Dorsey to make the woman’s attorney, Leslie Mark Stovall, personally responsible for the amount
  • Dorsey on June 10 kicked the case out of court to punish Stovall for “bad-faith conduct” and the improper use of leaked and stolen documents to pursue the case

LAS VEGAS: Cristiano Ronaldo is asking a US judge to order a woman’s lawyer to pay more than $626,000 for losing a lawsuit to get the international soccer star to pay millions of dollars after claiming in 2018 that Ronaldo raped the woman in Las Vegas nearly a decade earlier.

In a bluntly worded court document, Ronaldo’s attorney, Peter Christiansen, asks US District Judge Jennifer Dorsey to make the woman’s attorney, Leslie Mark Stovall, personally responsible for the amount.

Stovall did not immediately respond Wednesday to telephone and email messages. Text messages to associate Larissa Drohobyczer were not answered. They are due to file an answer with the court by July 8.

Dorsey on June 10 kicked the case out of court to punish Stovall for “bad-faith conduct” and the improper use of leaked and stolen documents to pursue the case.

Stovall “crossed the border of ethical behavior before he filed this action, and his disregard for the rules of this court has continued unabated,” the judge found.

Dorsey said in her 42-page order that dismissing plaintiff Kathryn Mayorga’s case outright with no option to file it again was a severe sanction, but said Ronaldo had been harmed by Stovall’s conduct.

The Associated Press generally does not name people who say they are victims of sexual assault, but Mayorga gave consent through Stovall and Drohobyczer to make her name public.

The bid for court costs and fees for Ronaldo’s attorneys, filed Friday, dwarfs the $375,000 hush-money payment that Mayorga received in 2010 to sign a confidentiality agreement and drop a criminal complaint alleging she was sexually assaulted.

“Given Stovall’s abuses and flagrant misconduct, Stovall should be made personally responsible for ensuring Ronaldo is reimbursed for having to defend against his vexatious and bad faith conduct,” Christiansen’s request for reimbursement said. He tallied attorney fees at between $350 and $850 per hour for nearly 1,200 hours of work.

Mayorga’s civil lawsuit — filed in 2018 in state court and moved in 2019 to federal court — eventually sought more than $25 million in damages, plus attorney fees for Stovall.

It alleged that Ronaldo or his associates violated the confidentiality agreement before a German news outlet, Der Spiegel, published an article in April 2017 titled “Cristiano Ronaldo’s Secret” based on documents obtained from what court filings term “whistleblower portal Football Leaks.”

Ronaldo’s attorneys accuse Stovall of obtaining stolen material containing privileged attorney-client communication and then trying repeatedly to make them pubic by attaching them to court filings.

A second court filing on Friday asks Dorsey to seal part of the court record containing confidential documents.

Mayorga is a former model and teacher who lives in the Las Vegas area. Her lawsuit said she met Ronaldo at a nightclub and went with him and other people to his hotel suite, where she alleged he assaulted her in a bedroom. She was 25 at the time. He was 24.

Ronaldo’s legal team does not dispute Ronaldo met Mayorga and they had sex in June 2009, but maintained it was consensual.

Ronaldo, now 37, is one of the most highly paid and recognizable sports stars in the world. He plays for the English Premier League club Manchester United and has captained the national team of his home country, Portugal. He spent several recent years playing in Italy for the Turin-based club Juventus.

Las Vegas police reopened their rape investigation after Mayorga’s lawsuit was filed in 2018, but Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson decided in 2019 not to pursue criminal charges. He said too much time had passed to prove the case to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt.

Stovall maintained that Mayorga didn’t break the hush-money settlement. Her lawsuit sought to void it, accusing Ronaldo and reputation-protection “fixers” of conspiracy, defamation, breach of contract, coercion and fraud.

The Las Vegas police report compiled about Ronaldo after Mayorga filed her lawsuit in 2018 might still become public under a public records lawsuit The New York Times filed in Nevada state court.

A US magistrate judge in Las Vegas said in March that a protective order that Dorsey imposed to prevent release of the 2010 agreement does not prevent the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department from releasing its file.

Attorney Margaret McLetchie, representing the newspaper, did not immediately respond to messages about that case.


Saudi football club Shabab to host Roma during Riyadh Season

Updated 29 September 2023
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Saudi football club Shabab to host Roma during Riyadh Season

  • The club is set to mark the their diamond jubilee with a match against the Giallorossi

RIYADH: One of Saudi Arabia’s oldest football club is set to mark the their diamond jubilee with a match against Roma, one of Italy’s iconic clubs.

The Saudi club was founded in Riyadh in 1947 and their name, Shabab, means youth in Arabic.

Playing on the club’s youthful name and its long history, Saudi entertainment chief Turki Al-Sheikh wrote on X that the “Old man of clubs” will mark its diamond jubilee by facing the Giallorossi during Riyadh Season, a key fixture on the Saudi entertainment calendar.

Al-Sheikh did not mention when the match will take place, nor did Shabab.

The Riyadh club have won the Saudi league six times along with half a dozen national cups.

Roma, who have made a slow start to their Serie A campaign this season with only six points from 5 games, have won the league three times and  league competitions 11 times.

The next Supercoppa Italiana will be played in Saudi Arabia on Jan. 4, 2024, with the final on Jan. 8 and will see champions Inter attempt to defend the cup from Napoli, Lazio and Fiorentina. Super cup games have been hosted in the Kingdom since 2018, except for two years due to Covid restrictions.


Al-Hilal to play home games at Boulevard Hall in Riyadh 

Updated 29 September 2023
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Al-Hilal to play home games at Boulevard Hall in Riyadh 

  • The project has a capacity of 26,000 seats and is expected to be handed to the club in January

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal have found a new home for their matches this season with the under-construction Boulevard Hall in Riyadh.

Entertainment authority chief Turki Al-Sheikh said during a live on Instagram that they have reached a SAR40 million a year agreement with Al-Hilal president Fahd bin Nafel with a grace period of the first 6 months.

Al-Sheikh thanked Prince AlWaleed bin Talal, a long standing backer of Al-Hilal and founder of the Kingdom Holding Company, for contributing SAR25 million, thus renaming the stadium the Kingdom Arena.

The project has a capacity of 26,000 seats and is expected to be handed to the club in January.

Bin Nafel said the new filed will meet all requirements of the Saudi Pro League, FIFA and, AFC.

Al-Hilal will play the first match in the new stadium in January for the Riyadh Season Cup.

Per the agreement, Al-Sheikh said the Kingdom Arena will host entertainment events off season.

Bin Nafel said the club is working on packages for foreign tourist where they come and spend two days in Riyadh and visit entertainment hubs in addition to attending the games.

The new facility holds 20 VIP cabins and a sky lounge with a capacity of 360 persons.


Saudi U-23 football team reach quarterfinals at Asian Games

Updated 28 September 2023
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Saudi U-23 football team reach quarterfinals at Asian Games

  • Boxer Abdulaziz Al-Otaibi advances to the quarterfinals of the 51kg weight category after winning against Bangladeshi contender 4-1
  • Table tennis players Azzam Alaam and Khalid Al-Sharif defeat Yemeni opponents 3-2 and advance in the doubles competition

ARAB NEWS
HANGZHOU, China: Saudi Arabia’s U-23 football team has qualified for the quarterfinals at the 19th Asian Games, being held in Hangzhou, China, after defeating India 2-0 on Thursday.
In the presence of the Saudi Arabian Olympic and Paralympic Committee’s Vice President Prince Fahd bin Jalawi, Mohamed Maran scored a brace in the 51st and 58th minutes to secure the Green Falcons’ spot in the quarterfinals, said a media statement.

Boxing
Saudi boxer Abdulaziz Al-Otaibi has advanced to the quarterfinals of the 51kg weight category after winning against Bangladeshi contender Mohamed Abu Talha 4-1 in the 16th round.
Meanwhile teammate Hadeel Ashour lost in the same round against an Indian opponent in the 60kg weight category.

Table tennis
Azzam Alaam and Khalid Al-Sharif defeated their Yemeni opponents 3-2 to advance to the round of 16 in the doubles competition.
Teammates Ali Al-Khudrawi and Turki Al-Mutairi lost 0-3 against South Korea and left the competition.

e-sports
The Saudi Arabian electronic sports team qualified for the round of 16 in the Peace Elite game, finishing first in their group ahead of Sri Lanka, Macau and Uzbekistan.

Basketball
The Kingdom’s basketball team lost their second game against Iran 66-81 in the group stage. Iran led in the first half 38-28.

Shooting
Saudi Arabian shooter Atallah Al-Unezi finished in seventh place in the 10 meter air pistol event, scoring 134.4 points in the final.
His teammates Sefar Al-Dosari and Mohamed Al-Maliki were eliminated in the qualification stage on Thursday.

Fencing
Fencers Adel Al-Mutairi, Ahmed Al-Qadhi, Mohamed Al-Omari and Abdullah Al-Mansaf lost 36-45 against Japan and were eliminated in the round of 16 of the Saber event.

Taekwondo
The Kingdom’s taekwondo team concluded their participation in the Asian Games after Ali Al-Mabrook lost to his Chinese contender, Zhe Zhuang Song, in the last 16 of the men’s +80kg weight category.


Newcastle United find Carabao Cup heroes in win over Man City

Updated 28 September 2023
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Newcastle United find Carabao Cup heroes in win over Man City

  • Smiling Scouser Gordon sets tone of the tie as Isak’s solo St James’ Park strike sends Magpies through
  • In eight performances across three competitions, Gordon has gone from a low-key squad player to first name on the team sheet

NEWCASTLE: With one 40-yard sprint, Anthony Gordon epitomised everything it means to represent Newcastle United — and inspired his side, with the help of others, to cup glory.

The scene was St James’ Park in the Carabao Cup third round, the visitors treble-winning Manchester City. Both sides were weakened with 10 and eight changes apiece from the Premier League this weekend, but tensions were still high.

The atmosphere was electric, but dampened early on by City’s dominance. Toiling against their illustrious opponents, Eddie Howe’s men found a hero who riled up the crowd with effort and commitment.

On 49 minutes, as Manuel Akanji dropped the shoulder and swaggered away from a wrong-footed Gordon, there looked to be no danger for City. However, the rakish winger refused to give up the cause, chased Akanji’s ball across the pitch to Matteo Kovacic, and as the Croatian twisted to protect possession, the blonde-haired Scouser committed, slid in and threw ball and man high up into the Tyneside night.

The roar that greeted the challenge set the tone for the rest of the evening. For all City out-passed the Magpies, Gordon and his comrades showed they would not be out-fought on home turf.

Soon after, Swedish forward Alexander Isak turned in what proved to be the winner, sending United through and dumping out the winners of the competition in four of the last five campaigns.

Gordon did not have a direct hand in the goal, but it had his fingerprints all over it.

“I think he’s had an outstanding start to the season,” said Howe, whose side were rewarded for their City win with a trip to Manchester United in round four.

“What’s pleased me most is his fitness levels, his athleticism is really coming to the fore but he’s adding goals and end product. All attacking players will be judged by that. I always say when we sign players there needs to be patience.

“Players, as much as you want them to come in and be outstanding from minute one, that’s very rare. Sometimes there is a bedding in period, some players take longer than others,” Howe said.

“We had no doubt over Anthony’s quality but I think pre-season did him really good, but as did the six months he had with us before the break for the summer because he had a taste of what to expect and came back with a much greater understanding.”

It is fair to say Gordon had, up until the summer, been questioned. Many fans, pundits and journalists had wondered whether the former Everton man was the right fit for Howe’s Champions League qualifiers.

In eight performances across three competitions, Gordon has gone from a low-key squad player to first name on the team sheet.

The youngster with pace and talent has grown into a man with consistent quality in his locker. Four goal involvements this term — two goals and two assists — already prove his significant growth. But is there room for improvement? Howe thinks so.

“That’s the plan. For Anthony, he’s got such a high ability and so much potential where we really feel he can push on. There is so much more to work on and improve but the qualities are there for him to be an outstanding player at this level,” the head coach said.

Newcastle will hope to maintain their upturn in fortune Saturday, when the Magpies host Vincent Kompany’s Burnley, before the clash the Gulf region is waiting for in the Champions League against Paris Saint-Germain next week.


Saudi King’s Cup round-of-16 football matches drawn

Updated 28 September 2023
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Saudi King’s Cup round-of-16 football matches drawn

  • Last edition’s winners Al-Hilal will face Al-Hazem in Riyadh
  • Round will be played in a single match, with losing teams eliminated from the tournament

RIYADH: The matches for the Saudi King’s Cup round of 16 were drawn on Wednesday night and will be played on Oct. 30 and 31, 2023.
The last edition’s winners Al-Hilal will face Al-Hazem in Riyadh, while Al-Nassr will play Al-Ettifaq at Alawal Park in Riyadh.
Al-Ittihad will play Al-Fayha at Al-Majma’ah, while Al-Ahli will host Abha.
The 16th round will be played in a single match, with losing teams eliminated from the tournament.
In the other matches, Al-Khaleej will host Damac, and Al-Shabab will be a guest at Al-Fateh.
Clubs Al-Najma and Al-Faisaly from the “Yellow League” will face each other in the city of Unaizah, while Al-Taawon will host Al-Wehda.
Earlier this week, Riyadh rivals Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal booked their spots in the round of 16 with away victories over lower-tier opposition.