Sports

Hermoso on Rubiales kiss: ‘I felt disrespected’

Madrid, Oct 9 (EFE).- Spanish soccer player Jenni Hermoso told prosecutors on Monday that the kiss from Luis Rubiales after the final of the FIFA Women’s World Cup was not consensual and that she felt disrespected.

Rubiales, who at the time was president of the Spanish Football Federation, is being investigated over sexual assault and coercion for kissing Hermoso without her consent.

The testimony of the Spanish player in the National Court was broadcast Monday on the Telecinco TV program “Codigo 10.”

During her testimony, Hermoso recalled that in the moment of the kiss in August she did not have time to react because it was unexpected.

“It was a matter of seconds and at no point did I feel comfortable,” she said.

“They tarnished my image. I felt as a player and worker of the Federation that no one protected me. They asked me to help them, but at no time did I feel that they were protecting me.”

“I don’t deserve to have experienced all this… I had to leave Madrid to not have that pressure… Why do I have to be crying in a room when I haven’t done anything?” asked the Mexican Pachuca player when questioned by the lieutenant prosecutor of the National Court, Marta Durántez.

The player also recalled what happened during the medal ceremony. After greeting Queen Letizia and her daughter, Rubiales was next in the line.

“I hug him. The first thing I say when I hug him is: ‘We really did it’. He jumps on me and I stand firm enough to support us. When he comes down, the only thing I remember him saying to me is: ‘We have won this World Cup thanks to you.’ And the next thing his hands were on my head and then I didn’t hear anything else and I saw myself with the kiss on my mouth,”

When asked if she had the capacity to react, she said no because she did not expect it.

“How could I expect it in that scenario that was a medal ceremony at a World Cup final? We had been champions. A lot of emotion, a lot of joy and everything, but I didn’t look for that moment,” she added.

After the kiss, she went down to the rest of her team and mentioned what had just happened to Alexia Putellas and Irene Paredes.

“At that moment I was in the shock of that celebration for having been champions. It was a historic event that took a lot of work for all of us to achieve. At no time could I have expected that to happen. I hugged the Queen, the daughter … he was a trustworthy person and no one would expect that he would do something like that in that moment, no matter how spontaneous it was,” Hermoso continued.

When asked if at any point the kiss was consensual, she responded with a categorical “no,” and when asked if she felt “violated,” she answered affirmatively.

“Yes. I clearly felt disrespected. At that moment he did not respect me either as a player or as a person. I was experiencing something that was historic. They were subjecting me to something that I at no time sought or did to find myself in that situation,” said the Spanish player.

The case will continue Tuesday with former women’s soccer coach Jorge Vilda and the marketing director of the Spanish Football Federation, Rubén Riverahave, appearing before Judge Francisco de Jorge. EFE

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