Ex-Spanish Football Chief Luis Rubiales Faces Court Over Jenni Hermoso Kiss

by | Sep 13, 2023 | Football

The former president of the Spanish Football Federation, Luis Rubiales, will appear in a court in Madrid on Friday due to the kiss he gave to Spanish football player Jenni Hermoso.

Hermoso filed a legal complaint last week against Rubiales for kissing her on the lips after the victory of the Spanish women’s national team in the final of the World Cup on August 20.

Rubiales has been summoned by a high court judge to answer charges of sexual assault and coercion.

He will appear before a judge at 12:00 PM local time (11:00 AM British Summer Time).

Hermoso, aged 33, claimed that the kiss was not consensual, while Rubiales argued that it was “mutual” and “consensual” and defended his actions again in an interview with Piers Morgan, which aired on Tuesday on Talk TV.

Rubiales resigned from his position as president of the Spanish Football Federation on Sunday due to the controversy and also stepped down from his role as vice-president of the UEFA executive committee.

Hermoso’s complaint initially was for sexual assault, but last week prosecutor Marta Durantez Gil added a coercion charge after the player revealed that some of her relatives were pressured by Rubiales and his “professional entourage” to say that she “justified and approved of what happened.”

On Monday, Judge Francisco de Jorge of the National Court accepted the complaint and appointed a judge to investigate the case.

After completing the investigation, the judge may make a recommendation for the case to go to trial or be dismissed.

Jorge also requested video footage of the incident from Spain’s public broadcaster, RTVE, as well as videos of the team’s celebrations posted online by the Spanish newspapers El Pais, AS, and La Vanguardia, to be presented as evidence.

The repercussions of the kiss have shaken Spanish football in recent weeks and overshadowed Spain’s World Cup victory, with Rubiales ignoring repeated calls for his resignation before finally stepping down on Sunday.

The charge of sexual assault can result in a punishment ranging from a fine to four years in prison according to Spanish law.

“I have faith in the truth and will do everything in my power for it to prevail,” Rubiales wrote in an open letter on Sunday.

Pachuca player Hermoso released a lengthy statement on social media on August 25, stating that the kiss was not “consensual.”

“I feel the need to report this incident because I believe that no person, in any work, sports, or social environment, should be a victim of non-consensual behavior of this kind. I felt vulnerable and a victim of an impulsive, sexist, and inappropriate act, without any consent from my part,” she continued.

“Simply put, I was not respected.”

Rubiales defends himself in the Morgan interview
About 81 Spanish players, including all 23 World Cup winners, said they would not play for the national team while Rubiales was in office.

World Cup-winning coach Jorge Vilda, considered a close ally of Rubiales, was dismissed on September 5, with Montse Tome appointed as his replacement.

Rubiales has apologized for the kiss but said there was “no harm, no sexual content, no assault, none of that.”

However, he refused to apologize directly to Hermoso when asked if he would by Morgan.

“What happened is bad for everyone,” Rubiales said.

“We had Jenni lifting me up. We had the fleeting kiss, two-tenths of a second, but what has been created from that is madness.

“So, what remains for me is to defend my dignity. Therefore, it’s not about that [apology], Piers, it’s about humility.”

Asked again if he would like to apologize, Rubiales continued: “So, what we had is a spontaneous act, a mutual act, an act to which both consented, driven by the emotion of the moment, by happiness, so I maintain that this is the truth of what happened.”

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