“It was a reciprocal act,” said the former president of the Spanish Football Federation Luis Rubiales in an interview with journalist Piers Morgan and broadcast Tuesday on the British channel TalkTV, about the kiss to the player Jennifer Hermoso after the world coronation of the women’s “Roja”.
“It was a reciprocal act, she came to me, very happy,” he said about a gesture which has since led to his resignation and being summoned on Friday by an investigating judge to be heard as a defendant and respond to accusations of sexual assault.
“She picked me up, she lifted me in the air, we were both emotional. When we touched down, I had a brief exchange with her, we congratulated each other. I gave him a quick kiss. I asked him, can I give you a little kiss? Which is normal in our country. I remember she gave me a pat or two on the side. She laughed, and that’s it,” explains the ex-manager during this interview as part of the show “Piers Morgan without filter”.
“No (malicious) intent. And of course no sexual connotation or anything like that. Nothing other than a moment of happiness, a great joy at that moment,” Rubiales assures in this interview.
“My intentions were noble, 100% non-sexual, 100%, I repeat 100%,” he proclaims.
A version denied by Jenni Hermoso who said she “felt vulnerable and the victim of an impulsive and sexist act, inappropriate and without any consent on my part”.
Rubiales then even maintained in front of Piers Morgan that he would have acted the same way if it had been a man: “There is no doubt about it. When I was a player, there were occasions, when we avoided relegation or achieved promotion in particular, where we kissed each other on the lips.
Since a recent reform of the Spanish penal code, a non-consensual kiss can be considered sexual assault, a criminal category bringing together all types of sexual violence.