Spanish forward Jenni Hermoso gives evidence in court on Rubiales kiss

Former president of Spanish Football Federation caused outcry after incident at World Cup final in August

The Spanish footballer Jenni Hermoso has given evidence to a judge investigating the kiss she received from the then president of the Spanish Football Federation, Luis Rubiales, after Spain’s win in the World Cup final last August.

Rubiales’ decision to take Hermoso’s head in his hands and kiss her on the lips caused an outcry and a national and international debate on sexism. It has also led to Rubiales being investigated for alleged sexual assault and coercion by a judge at Spain’s highest criminal court, the audiencia nacional.

Rubiales, who resigned as the head of Spain’s football federation in September last year, insists the kiss he planted on Hermoso’s lips was consensual and that he had sought her permission. But Hermoso has denied giving permission and has said the incident left her feeling “vulnerable and a victim of aggression”. The 33-year-old forward has filed a criminal complaint against Rubiales and state prosecutors have accused him of sexual assault and coercion for allegedly pressuring her to speak out in his defence after his actions prompted a global controversy.

Hermoso arrived at the court in Madrid a little before 10am on Tuesday to give her testimony to Judge Francisco de Jorge. She spoke briefly to the media after the closed-door hearing, wishing them a happy new year and adding: “It’s gone well. It’s all in the hands of justice now.”


The footballer, who has just signed for the Mexican team Tigres, has rejected any suggestion that the kiss was consensual, describing Rubiales’s assertion that she had given him permission to kiss him as “categorically false”. Hermoso said she had decided to speak out about what happened because “no person, in any work, sports or social environment, should be a victim of this type of non-consensual behaviour”.

She added: “I felt vulnerable and the victim of an aggression, an impulsive, sexist act, out of place and without any consent on my part. Simply put, I was not respected.”

Hermoso also said the incident and its aftermath had taken a huge toll on her. “These weeks have been very difficult,” she said in an interview with GQSpain last year. I’ve had to assume the consequences of an act that I did not provoke, that I had not chosen or premeditated. I have received threats, and that is something you never get used to.”

Rubiales, who could face a fine or up to four years in prison if found guilty of sexual assault, has denied assaulting or coercing Hermoso and has vowed to clear his name. “I believe in the truth and I will do everything in my power to make sure it prevails,” he said when he stepped down as head of the federation four months ago.

The 46-year-old former player said that although his family and those close him had been made to suffer “the effects of an excessive persecution” and “many lies”, he felt the public knew the truth.