Tag Archives: dismiss

Ronaldo wants US court to dismiss Vegas rape hush-money case

Lawyers for Ronaldo want a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed after reports of the 2009 encounter became public.

LAS VEGAS — More than a decade after soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo paid $ 375,000 to hush a Nevada woman’s claim that he raped her in Las Vegas, new allegations about cyber hacking, document theft and attorney misconduct are being raised to block the woman’s bid for another payout.

Ronaldo’s lawyers are asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed after reports of the sexual encounter became public and to punish the woman’s attorney, Leslie Mark Stovall, for soliciting allegedly stolen documents in July 2018 from an entity called “Football Leaks,” months before filing the case.

“No sanction less than dismissal will suffice,” Ronaldo’s attorneys, Peter Christiansen and Kendelee Works, wrote in a federal court filing submitted May 27. “At a minimum, Stovall must be disqualified from acting as counsel in this matter.”

A federal magistrate judge on Tuesday halted plans for Stovall to question witnesses including Ronaldo under oath — at least until U.S. District Judge Jennifer Dorsey in Las Vegas rules whether to dismiss the case, disqualify the woman’s attorneys and impose sanctions against them. A hearing was not immediately scheduled.

Ronaldo, now 36, is one of the most recognizable and highly paid players in sports. He plays in Italy for the Turin-based soccer club Juventus and captains his home country team from Portugal.

Stovall, lead attorney for plaintiff Kathryn Mayorga, did not immediately respond Wednesday to telephone and email messages about the developments.

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

Mayorga signed a non-disclosure agreement in 2010, and Stovall acknowledges she accepted $ 375,000 not to talk about the encounter or the settlement. Mayorga was represented at the time by different attorneys.

The existence of the settlement was described in a September 2018 article by the German publication Der Spiegel. It depicted Mayorga, now 37, a former model and schoolteacher, as “an anonymous woman versus Ronaldo.”

The lawsuit Stovall filed for Mayorga two days before the Der Spiegel article appeared accuses Ronaldo or those working for him of conspiracy, defamation, breach of contract, coercion and fraud for allegedly letting the settlement become public in Europe. Her attorneys say Mayorga never wanted her name made public.

The lawsuit acknowledges she met Ronaldo at a nightclub at the Palms Hotel and Casino and went with him and other people to his suite. She alleges he sexually assaulted her in a bedroom.

Ronaldo, through his attorneys, maintains the sex was consensual.

Ronaldo’s lawyers asked in 2019 for the case to be dismissed. Dorsey said last September she would hold a bench trial to determine whether Mayorga “lacked the mental capacity” to sign a confidentiality arrangement with Ronaldo’s representatives in 2010 and “whether any agreement … was ever formed between the parties.” No trial date has been set.

Ronaldo’s attorneys now accuse Stovall of “egregious” legal misconduct since filing the case in state court in September 2018. It was moved in 2019 to federal court. They allege Stovall “tainted the truth-finding process” by withholding key information from them and judges.

Christiansen declined to comment for this report, saying the court filing — 196 pages, including 24 exhibits — speaks for itself. Some documents were sealed because of previous court confidentiality rulings.

Court filings accuse Stovall of seeking from an unidentified cyber-hacker stolen records of confidential communications between Ronaldo and his attorneys from the time when the settlement was being negotiated with Mayorga and her previous attorneys in 2010.

Ronaldo’s lawyers question the authenticity of what they term the “Football Leaks” documents and maintain that they may have been altered.

“Stovall … not only used those documents as exhibits to public filings in this case, but also as support for his request that the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department reopen a decade old investigation to prosecute” Ronaldo, his defense filing says.

Police spent a year investigating, including obtaining a sample of Ronaldo’s DNA through Italian authorities.

Mayorga submitted DNA and underwent a medical exam shortly after she alleged she was attacked. But police closed their investigation at the time because police said Mayorga only identified her attacker as a European soccer player and never said where the alleged attack took place.

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson, the elected prosecutor in Las Vegas, said in July 2019 that unspecified forensic and video evidence had been lost over time. He declined to press criminal charges against Ronaldo.

In any civil litigation, both parties are required to share relevant information and documents.

But Ronaldo’s lawyers said they learned less than five weeks ago — and only after combing through documents that Stovall provided to Las Vegas police in 2018 — that Stovall possessed materials showing what Ronaldo and his lawyers talked about when the settlement was reached.

“More than 200 documents appear to be stolen attorney-client communications and work product that Stovall obtained from Football Leaks and provided to LVMPD,” Ronaldo’s attorneys wrote, adding that the material was “never disclosed to Defendant in this litigation.”

“Stovall’s knowledge of the content … cannot be undone,” Ronaldo’s defense attorneys complain. Even if a judge orders Mayorga’s attorney not to use the disputed documents while questioning witnesses, Stovall will “utilize the information gleaned from the purloined material,” they said.

“There is simply no way to unring the bell,” the court filing said.

Negotiations in 2010 took months and included oversight by a mediator in Las Vegas, who is among other witnesses subpoenaed by Stovall for questioning. Those sessions had been scheduled later this month, but they are now on hold.

Stovall maintains that Mayorga had learning disabilities as a child and was mentally unfit to enter the 2010 confidentiality agreement. Court filings allege she was pressured by “fixers” and attorneys for Ronaldo trying to protect his reputation.

Mayorga wants to void the deal and collect at least $ 200,000 more from Ronaldo, according to court documents filed by Stovall.

Some recent media reports say Stovall is seeking tens of millions of dollars, but Stovall and Drohobyczer did not respond to questions from The Associated Press about those amounts. Christiansen has declined to confirm those reports.

Author:
This post originally appeared on CBS8 – Sports

Members Of LGBTQ+ Community Dismiss Caitlyn Jenner’s Run For Governor: ‘Her Views Are Terrible’

Author: Emily Selleck
This post originally appeared on Hollywood Life

Stars like George Takei and Alyssa Milano have reacted to the news that lifelong Republican Caitlyn Jenner is running for governor of California. See the tweets.

Former Keeping Up With The Kardashians star Caitlyn Jenner has officially filed paperwork to run for governor of California in a potential 2021 recall election. The 71-year-old is a lifelong Republican, and members of the LGBTQ+ community were quick to take to social media, saying they won’t back her “vanity campaign.” Star Wars actor George Takei, who is gay, compared her standing in the LGBTQ community to that of conservative pundit Candace Owens’ reputation in the Black community. “Black people wouldn’t vote for Candace Owen for office. The disabled community wouldn’t vote for Madison Cawthorn,” he tweeted. “I’m LGBTQ but I won’t be voting for Caitlyn Jenner. Just so we’re clear.”

Running under the slogan ‘Caitlyn For California‘, she is yet to confirm whether she is running as a Republican or as an Independent, however she is reportedly already surrounding herself with a team of Donald Trump‘s former aides. CNN reported she was taking advice from ex Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale, ahead of her potential California gubernatorial bid. “The support for this campaign has been amazing nationwide,” Caitlyn captioned an IG post, one day after revealing the big news. Nevertheless, the phrase “HELL NO” began trending soon after her announcement.

Transgender activist Charlotte Clymer slammed the reality star’s run as a “vanity campaign” that would allow transphobia to proliferate. “Caitlyn Jenner is a deeply unqualified hack who doesn’t care about anyone but herself,” Charlotte wrote. “Her views are terrible. She is a horrible candidate.” She later added, “Caitlyn Jenner has no real support. I don’t care about her candidacy. I do care about the ways in which her asinine views will be weaponized against trans people and the ways in which transphobia will go unchecked … This is purely a vanity campaign, and it’s incredibly selfish.”

Even actress Alyssa Milano weighed in, tweeting, “You are running as a Republican?! Republicans deny your existence and are trying to erase trans youth.” At the same time that she filed her paperwork, Caitlyn her campaign website, and revealed her mission statement. “California has been my home for nearly 50 years,” the statement read. “I came here because I knew that anyone, regardless of their background or station in life, could turn their dreams into reality. But for the past decade, we have seen the glimmer of the Golden State reduced by one-party rule that places politics over progress and special interests over people. Sacramento needs an honest leader with a clear vision.”

Hillicon Valley: Supreme Court sides with Google in copyright fight against Oracle

The Supreme Court on Monday sided with Google against Oracle in a copyright fight, while vacating a previous ruling involving former President’s Trump use of Twitter. Meanwhile, Apple CEO Tim Cook said he hoped Parler would eventually return to the App Store, and a national labor board concluded that Amazon had illegally retaliated against two workers by firing them for speaking out against company policies.

A DECISION DECADES IN THE MAKING: The Supreme Court on Monday sided with Google in the company’s high-stakes intellectual property fight with Oracle, finding that the search giant’s copying of certain Java lines to develop its Android platform constituted fair use.

In a 6-2 ruling, the justices found that Google’s use of roughly 11,500 lines of code was lawful since the amount was relatively minuscule and because Google programmers used the language as virtual building blocks to develop new and transformative applications.

The court concluded that Oracle cannot claim copyright over these application programming interfaces (APIs), which let different applications communicate.

The battle between Google and Oracle over the use of the code in Android devices has been ongoing for more than a decade.

Read more about the ruling[5]

DISMISSED: On Monday the Supreme Court also vacated a ruling that found that former President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden should look to ‘Ostpolitik’ to negotiate with autocrats The Memo: Biden’s bet on taxes Why some Republicans think vaccine passports will backfire on Democrats MORE[7][8][9][10][11][6] violated the First Amendment by blocking his critics on Twitter, with the justices dismissing the case as moot.

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The court’s move came in an unsigned order. But Justice Clarence ThomasClarence ThomasThe Navy’s reading program undermines America’s security Supreme Court revives police shooting victim’s suit against officers Supreme Court explores extent of tribal police authority MORE[13][14][15][16][17][12], the court’s most conservative member, wrote separately to voice concern that Trump’s removal from Twitter reflected a degree of power in the hands of tech platforms that the court would soon need to address.

The lawsuit arose in 2017 after Trump’s social media account blocked seven people who had tweeted criticism of the president in comment threads linked to his @realDonaldTrump Twitter handle, which has since been banned on the platform.

Read more here[18]

A LUKEWARM WELCOME: Tim Cook said he hopes the right-wing social media site Parler will eventually return to Apple’s App Store.

“I’m hoping that they put in the moderation that’s required to be on the store and come back, because I think having more social networks out there is better than having less,” the Silicon Valley giant’s chief executive said during an episode of The New York Times’s “Sway” podcast published Monday.[19]

Parler, which has pitched itself as a free speech alternative platform to Facebook and Twitter, was removed from both Apple’s and Google’s app stores shortly after the violent insurrection at the Capitol in January.

Read more about Cook’s comments[20]

AMAZON UNDER FIRE: Amazon illegally retaliated against two of its workers when it fired them after they publicly criticized the company’s climate policies and supported workers protesting warehouse conditions, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) found.

The NLRB found the allegations in the case had merit, and a regional director will issue a complaint if the case does not settle, according to the board.

The board’s determination about the firing of Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa was first reported by The New York Times[21]

A spokesperson for Amazon denied the allegations that the employees were fired for speaking out.

“We support every employee’s right to criticize their employer’s working conditions, but that does not come with blanket immunity against our internal policies, all of which are lawful,” the Amazon spokesperson said in a statement. “We terminated these employees not for talking publicly about working conditions, safety or sustainability but, rather, for repeatedly violating internal policies.

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The case is one of many allegations of unfair labor practices Amazon is facing, and the  NLRB is in the process of counting up ballots in the unionization vote at Amazon’s warehouse in Bessemer, Ala. If successful, the effort would create the first Amazon union in the U.S.[22]

Read more here[23]

DEMOCRATS QUESTION INSTAGRAM FOR KIDS: Democrats told Facebook on Monday they have concerns about the platform’s plans for an Instagram for children over the company’s “past failures” to protect kids on platforms aimed at youth users.

“Facebook has a record of failing to protect children’s privacy and safety, casting serious doubt on its ability to do so on a version of Instagram that is marketed to children,”  Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyGive Republicans the climate credit they deserve Biden risks first major fight with progressives Five takeaways on Biden’s big infrastructure package MORE[25][26][27][28][29][24] (D-Mass.), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Rep. Kathy CastorKatherine (Kathy) Anne CastorLawmakers wager barbecue, sweets and crab claws ahead of Super Bowl Biden recommits US to Paris climate accord OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Senate majority offers Biden new avenues on Trump environmental rollbacks | Democrats eye action on range of climate bills | Biden pushing to cancel Keystone XL pipeline as soon as he takes office: reports MORE[31][32][33][34][35][30] (D-Fla.) and Rep. Lori TrahanLori A. TrahanLawmakers vent frustration in first hearing with tech CEOs since Capitol riot Lawmakers call for action on first anniversary of Breonna Taylor’s death Ethics panel finds Massachusetts Democrat didn’t violate rules MORE[37][38][39][40][41][36] (D-Mass.) wrote in a letter to Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergCongressional CEO grillings can’t solve disinformation: We need a public interest regulator Google spending M to fight misinformation, fake news in Europe Hillicon Valley: Parler claims it alerted FBI to threats before Capitol riot | Warner presses Zuckerberg to tackle vaccine misinfo on Facebook, Instagram | U.S. schools increasingly resuming in-person learning MORE[44][45][46][47][48][43][42]

The Democrats pressed Facebook over concerns about children’s safety in regards to health, well being and data privacy.

Instagram requires users to be at least 13 years old to make an account, but Facebook has acknowledged that young users sometimes lie about their date of birth in creating an account. [49]

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“If we can encourage kids to use an experience that is age-appropriate and managed by parents, we think that’s far better than kids using apps that weren’t designed for them,” Stephanie Otway, a Facebook spokesperson, said in response to the letter.

But the Democrats said that if Facebook’s goal is to decrease the number of users under the age of 13 on Instagram, the proposal for an alternative “may do more harm than good.”

Read more here[50]

NETFLIX (NOT) ON TOP: Netflix saw its dominance of the U.S. streaming market slip during 2020 as new competitors emerged and the coronavirus pandemic forced many Americans to remain in their homes.

According to Ampere Analysis data shared with TheWrap, Netflix’s share of the U.S. streaming market fell from 29 percent at the start of 2020 to 20 percent, a drop of 31 percent.[51]

Netflix reportedly still had the most U.S. subscribers of any streaming service — about 67 million — as of January.

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Amazon Prime also saw a drop in U.S. market share, the news outlet noted. The company previously controlled 21 percent of the streaming market and is now down to 16 percent, a drop of 24 percent, according to an analysis. About 54 million Prime users use the video app in the U.S., TheWrap reported.

Lighter click: That’s awkward[53]

An op-ed to chew on: The information superhighway must be accessible and affordable for all[54]

[email protected] (Maggie Miller,Chris Mills Rodrigo and Rebecca Klar)