(Madrid) Kissed by force by the former boss of Spanish football Luis Rubiales, the world champion Jenni Hermoso reiterated Tuesday, in court, that this kiss had “at no time been consented” and that she had suffered intense pressure.
The international, who has just signed with Mexican club Tigres Femenil, arrived shortly before 10 a.m. (4 a.m. Eastern Time) at the National Court in Madrid, wearing a long gray coat. Smiling, she gave a little wave to the press gathered in front of the building, without making any statements.
Initially scheduled for November 28, the highly anticipated hearing of Hermoso, who filed a complaint against Rubiales in September, was postponed for scheduling reasons.
According to a judicial source, the player reiterated in the judge’s office that this kiss had “at no time been consensual”.
She further indicated that she was the victim of “harassment” from Rubiales and his entourage after the world title won in Sydney, which “altered her life, producing a situation of unrest and sadness”, added this source.
Charged with “sexual assault” and the crime of “coercion”, for the alleged pressure on Hermoso, Luis Rubiales was already heard in September by the judge. He has since been banned from coming within 200 meters of the player.
Three other people, including the former coach of La Roja feminine, Jorge Vilda, were also charged in this case by the investigating judge.
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. According to the prosecution, the penalties incurred by Rubiales range from a fine to four years in prison.
On August 20, a few minutes after the world coronation of the women’s “Roja” in Sydney, the 46-year-old Spanish football boss surprised the attacker with a kiss on the lips, provoking indignation in Spain and across the world.
Refusing to resign for “a little consensual kiss”, he attacked, during a resounding speech five days later, a supposed “false feminism” and argued that he had obtained the player’s authorization before kissing her .
A version denied by Jenni Hermoso who said she “felt vulnerable and victim […] of an impulsive and sexist act, inappropriate and without any consent on [her] part”.
Under pressure, Rubiales ended up resigning on September 10, saying he was the victim of a “disproportionate campaign.” He has since been suspended for three years from all football-related activity by FIFA, a decision he will appeal.
Jenni Hermoso, 33, has unwillingly become a global symbol of the fight for gender equality. She was elected woman of the year 2023 by the Spanish edition of the prestigious American magazine GQ.