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Last Updated: Saturday, 8 December 2007, 16:52 GMT
Flatley wins $11m over rape claim
Michael Flatley
Flatley has produced several shows based around Irish dancing
Dancer Michael Flatley has been awarded $11 million (5.4m) against a woman who claimed he raped her in 2002.

He was offered the settlement after convincing the California Supreme Court the accusations were false and part of a million-dollar extortion scheme.

Flatley, 49, said he was "very pleased" with the judgement against real estate agent Tyna Marie Robertson.

"Ms Robertson tried to extort money from me by spreading these lies," said the former Riverdance star.

"The court sent a message that it will not tolerate these types of schemes."

Robertson alleged the Irish-American folk dancer had raped her in a Las Vegas hotel after she flew to visit him in October 2002.

Consensual

According to court papers, her attorney threatened to file a sexual assault lawsuit unless Flatley agreed to a "seven figures" settlement.

Flatley refused to pay, insisting that the sex was consensual and that Robertson had had a "relaxed and happy" breakfast with him the following morning.

Michael Flatley performs in Celtic Tiger
Last month he performed a routine on Dancing with the Stars
Last year Robertson brought a $33m (16.2m) claim against the dancer, a civil action that was eventually dismissed.

This led Flatley to file a $100m (49.3m) counter-suit for extortion and defamation.

Flatley helped launch the popular Irish dance show Riverdance after performing at the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin.

Since then he has travelled the world with his Lord of the Dance and Celtic Tiger shows.

Flatley has been battling ill health since being taken to hospital last year with a viral infection.

He returned to live performance last month with an appearance on Dancing with the Stars, the US version of Strictly Come Dancing.

SEE ALSO
Funeral for music promoter Aiken
01 Mar 07 |  Northern Ireland
Dance star Flatley out of clinic
18 Nov 06 |  Entertainment
Support pours in for sick Flatley
16 Nov 06 |  Entertainment
Dancer Flatley sues rape accuser
28 Jul 06 |  Entertainment
Flatley counter-sues rape accuser
07 Mar 03 |  Entertainment
Flatley sued over alleged rape
06 Mar 03 |  Entertainment

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