“Kiss Was Consented and Non-Sexual,” Says Luis Rubiales
Former Spanish football federation president Luis Rubiales remains firm in his claim that the kiss he shared with Jenni Hermoso on her lips after the Women's World Cup final was "a mutual act." However, World Cup-winning Spain midfielder Hermoso, aged 33, has asserted that the kiss was not consensual.
A Spanish judge has summoned Luis Rubiales to appear in court on Friday as part of a sexual assault investigation related to this incident. Rubiales continues to assert that his version of events is the "truth."
"What we had is a spontaneous act, a mutual act, an act that both consented to, which was driven by the emotion of the moment, the happiness, so I maintain that that is the truth of what happened," Rubiales told TalkTV show Piers Morgan Uncensored.
The 46-year-old characterized the kiss as "non-sexual," and he had previously likened his actions to how he would behave with his daughters.
"My intentions were noble, enthusiastic, 100 percent non-sexual, 100 percent, I repeat, 100 percent," said Rubiales.
The former federation chief, who had been temporarily suspended by FIFA before his resignation, explained that the kiss took place in a moment of celebration and excitement.
"You can imagine if you win the lottery or hopefully soon one day the war in the Ukraine finishes, I mean celebrations will go on up and down the globe," said Rubiales. "People don't ask permissions, it's just a happy, happy time and people celebrate."
Nonetheless, Rubiales reiterated that he had sought permission for the kiss, which he characterized as "a peck," and acknowledged that, as the president of the federation, the gesture was inappropriate.
"Of course, I have said it from the beginning, I made a mistake, and I apologised in a sincere manner," he said. "A president can give a hug, but needs to act in a more diplomatic and colder way."
Rubiales faced unprecedented backlash following the kiss and his initial reluctance to step down. As a result, more than 80 women's national team players went on strike, and the controversial coach Jorge Vilda was dismissed from his position.
On Sunday, the former chief announced his resignation, citing his intention to support Spain's bid for the 2030 men's World Cup, as well as to alleviate the pressure on his family in the wake of his actions.
Spain's Audencia Nacional (National Court) has initiated the process of collecting evidence in the case against Rubiales after it accepted the complaint filed by the Public Prosecutor's Office on Friday. The lawsuit, filed last week, alleges sexual assault and coercion. The judicial proceedings are now in progress, beginning with an investigation, followed by an intermediary phase, and potentially leading to a trial. Rubiales has been summoned to testify as a defendant on Friday in connection with the case.
In response to the criminal charges he is facing, Rubiales stated, "I am a lawyer, I am a Spanish citizen, I have been through many legal processes, including criminal ones, and nothing has ever resulted in convictions." He expressed confidence that the truth would ultimately prevail, and he believes everything will be resolved positively.