Spanish soccer player Hermoso testifies about Rubiales World Cup kiss

January 3, 2024 11:45 am

Spanish soccer star Jenni Hermoso [Source: Reuters]

Spanish soccer star Jenni Hermoso testified in Madrid High Court over the kiss she said football federation chief Luis Rubiales planted on her lips without her consent after Spain’s victory in the Women’s World Cup last summer.

Hermoso spent around 2-1/2 hours speaking behind closed doors to investigating judge Francisco de Jorge, who is examining evidence including television footage before deciding whether to approve charges and advance the case to trial.

She told reporters as she left the court accompanied by her lawyer: “All is in the hands of justice, that’s all I can say… the process will take its course.”

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The 33-year-old forward – Spain’s all-time top scorer – lodged a criminal complaint of sexual assault and coercion in September over the kiss on the winners’ podium on Aug. 20, saying she had not wanted to be kissed, and that she felt “vulnerable and a victim of an aggression”.

Rubiales, who resigned as president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) on Sept. 10 amid heavy pressure, after previously refusing to go, said the kiss was “spontaneous, mutual, euphoric and consensual”.

The case sent shock waves through the sporting world and society in Spain and abroad, prompting protests and further accusations by women that prominent or powerful men had forced intimacy on them. In Spain, the social media hashtag #SeAcabo (“It’s over”), became a rallying cry.