Jenni Hermoso files sexual assault complaint against Spanish FA chief
BREAKING: Spain World Cup kiss-gate star Jenni Hermoso files a formal sexual assault complaint against FA president Luis Rubiales – and now he could face prosecution as investigation looms
- Hermoso previously said that she ‘did not consent’ to Rubiales’ kiss in August
- The president has been suspended by FIFA, who are seeking a 15-year ban
- Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast It’s All Kicking Off
Spanish football player Jenni Hermoso has paved the way for the prosecution of suspended Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales by filing a formal complaint against him over his infamous World Cup kiss.
Prosecutors gave the 33-year-old 15 days to accuse Rubiales of sexually assaulting her by kissing her on the lips without her consent after Spain’s Women’s World Cup victory over England last month.
The action, which Rubiales says was consensual and has described as a ‘peck’, sparked the Kissgate scandal which led to the dad-of-three being suspended by FIFA for 90 days, a church hunger strike by his pensioner mum and the sacking of team manager Jorge Vilda.
This afternoon it emerged Jenni had filed her complaint in person at the Spanish State Prosecution Service HQ in Madrid.
Without it state prosecutors, now expected to ask a Spanish court to place the 46-year-old under criminal investigation in the next few days, would have been unable to prosecute Rubiales.
Jenni Hermoso (right, with former coach Jorge Vilda) has accused Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales of sexual assault
The president gave Hermoso a nonconsensual kiss during the trophy presentation at the Women’s World Cup final
A judge at Spain’s Audiencia Nacional court in Madrid would be tasked with conducting the probe and decide whether Rubiales should face charges. That is because the kiss which has caused turmoil in Spanish football happened in Australia and other courts in Spain do not have the authority to act.
Prosecutors agreed late last month to invite Jenni Hermoso to file a formal complaint against Rubiales. The footballer has said the kiss left her feeling vulnerable and a victim of aggression.
She has described it as ‘an impulsive, sexist act, out of place and without any type of consent on my part.’
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Rubiales, who has apologised for grabbing his crotch during post-match celebrations in front of Spain’s Queen Letizia and her 16-year-old daughter, said in a lengthy statement last week: ‘The spontaneity and happiness of the historic moment led us to carry out a mutual and consensual act, a product of great enthusiasm.
‘At no time was there any aggression, indeed, there was not even the slightest discomfort, but an overflowing joy in both of us.’
Rubiales’ retired hairdresser mum Angeles Bejar, 72, broke off her hunger strike at a church in her son’s hometown of Motril near Granada last Wednesday after being rushed to hospital 48 hours into her protest.
She said she had launched it to get Jenni to ‘tell the truth’ about the kiss. Speaking from the inside of the church before falling ill, she said: ‘I just want the truth to be told.
Protestors gathered at a demonstration on Monday to call for Rubiales’ resignation from RFEF
The president’s mother, Angeles Bejar, took part in a hunger strike in support of her son, but was later taken to hospital
‘She knows my son is very honest. If she tells the truth everything will be fixed.’
Referring to the World Cup kiss that has led to the so-called ‘kiss-gate’ scandal, she added: ‘It was an anecdote, as she herself said, and look how far it’s gone.
‘She should have a conscience and act according to it.
‘My son is very worried and has asked me not to continue, to stop, but I will be here until I drop and my body can continue.’
Spain’s acting Equality Minister Irene Montero responded to Jenni’s complaint by saying on X, formerly Twitter: ‘Jennifer Hermoso. You are not alone. Millions of us are with you.’ She finished her message of support with a heart emoticon.
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