Spanish football player, Jenni Hermoso has filed a formal sexual assault complaint against FA president Luis Rubiales 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 the 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.
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.’
Rubiales, who has apologized 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.’
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.