FOOTBALLER Jenni Hermoso gave evidence to the National Court in Madrid on Tuesday which is investigating the so-called ‘Rubiales’ case.
Hermoso- part of Spain’s 2023 World Cup winning team- appeared before Judge Francisco de Jorge to ratify her statement about the ‘non-consensual kiss’ planted on her by Luis Rubiales after Spain lifted the trophy in Sydney last August.
The player has accused the now-former Spanish FA president of sexual assault and her testimony is one of the last stages before the case completes its pre-trial phase.
The National Court opened a probe against Rubiales following a complaint by the Prosecutor’s Office and in a declaration last September before the deputy prosecutor Marta Durantez, Jenni Hermoso said that she did not feel respected.
“They were subjecting me to something that I never sought or did to find myself in that situation,” she said at the time.
The player relieved the moment she received the kiss after Spain won the Women’s World Cup.
According to her account, she hugged Rubiales and he said: “The one we messed up.”
Afterwards, the former Spanish FA chief jumped on her and commented: “We have won this World Cup thanks to you.”
“The next thing was his hands on my head and I didn’t hear anything else. I saw myself with the kiss on the mouth and I went straight down to the stage with my teammates,” Hermoso recalled to questions from the prosecutor
“I didn’t even expect it,” she added.
“I don’t think anyone would expect that he was going to use that moment to do something like that, no matter how spontaneous it was,” said Hermoso, who also explained that when she got off the presentation stage, she told her teammates Alexia Putellas and Irene Paredes what had happened.
The player also testified that she was harassed by Spanish football officials who wanted her to say that the kiss was consensual.
Before the judge, Luis Rubiales said that the kiss was a ‘show of affection’ that occurred ‘naturally’, in the sight of ‘millions of eyes’ and that it was ‘with consent’.
Responding to questions from Hermoso’s lawyer, he asserted that it was a ‘totally extraordinary celebration’ and that he asked the player before giving her the kiss and reiterated that it was consensual.
“Yes, I asked her before, how can I not respect her?” as he responded to the question of whether he considered that he had respected the player by kissing her on the mouth, and then pointed out that after that incident, Hermoso was ‘left laughing to death’ and gave him ‘two slaps in the side’.
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