Footballer Jenni Hermoso addressed a court hearing, sharing that the kiss she received from Luis Rubiales after Spain’s Women’s World Cup victory was not consensual. She revealed feeling pressured to defend Rubiales amidst the controversy.
Appearing at Madrid’s High Court on Tuesday, Hermoso recounted the events following Spain’s 1-0 win over England in Sydney last August. Rubiales kissed Hermoso on the lips during the medal and trophy presentation, an act that stirred widespread criticism.
Rubiales, the former Spanish federation chief, insisted the kiss was consensual and refuted any wrongdoing. However, FIFA imposed a ban on all football-related activities for Rubiales, leading to his eventual resignation as the Spanish FA president.
The kissing incident sparked outrage in the football world, prompting Hermoso to file a criminal complaint against Rubiales on September 6. Prosecutors subsequently filed a lawsuit, alleging sexual assault and coercion against Rubiales two days later.
As the court proceedings unfold, the case continues to draw attention, shedding light on issues of consent and the dynamics within the world of football.
The alleged act of coercion related to Rubiales pressuring Hermoso to speak out in his defence after he was criticised for his behaviour.
At her three-hour court appearance on Tuesday, Hermoso confirmed the same version of events she had previously given to prosecutors, stating the kiss ‘was unexpected and at no time consensual,’ according to Marca.
Speaking to the media as she left the court, Hermoso said: ‘Everything went well. I wanted to wish you a Happy New Year. Everything is in the hands of justice.
‘Thank you very much for the support you have given me and for many of you treating things so well. I appreciate it.
‘The process will take its course.’
The judge is also hearing testimony from other World Cup-winning players, coaches, and federation officials before making the decision.
Spanish media said Hermoso asked the judge to keep her court appearance as private as possible.
According to a sexual consent law passed last year, Rubiales could face a fine or a prison sentence of one to four years if found guilty of sexual assault.