Disgraced Luis Rubiales has suggested his unsolicited kiss on Jenni Hermoso is excusable because it held the same significance as one he would give to his daughters.
Former Spanish FA president Rubiales – who has finally announced his resignation from the role – was subject to extreme pressure to step down after kissing Hermoso on the lips after she helped her country win its first Women's World Cup in August. The executive was hit with a sexual assault complaint by Spanish prosecutors in wake of the viral moment, while Hermoso herself recently submitted legal action against her former boss.
Rubiales confirmed his resignation during a recent appearance on Piers Morgan Uncensored, which will air on Tuesday at 8pm on TalkTV. And the interview featured one bizarre attempt at whataboutery, in which Rubiales likened his kiss on Hermoso to a peck on one of his own daughters.
“I have got three daughters. I have seen the reaction before, during and after," the 46-year-old told host Morgan. "Again, I am going to say that this was all down to a very happy moment, a celebration, a euphoric moment.
READ MORE: Luis Rubiales resigns as Spanish FA President on Piers Morgan show after kissgate scandal
"There was no harm, no sexual content, no aggression, nothing like that. As President, once again, I will say. . .the significance of the kiss to Jenni would have been exactly the same as a kiss to one of my daughters. Between friends and family, that’s very, very common.”
When host Morgan followed up by saying Hermoso has said she did not give her consent, the Spaniard responded: “I think I answered you… I have my version [of events]."
Despite Rubiales' clear refusal to acknowledge how such actions might be perceived differently by the recipient, he has seemingly accepted he no longer has a future with the Spanish FA. However, he apparently adamant to shoulder no more responsibility for the kiss itself, continuing to defend himself as entirely innocent in the matter.
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Asked repeatedly whether he planned on apologising to Hermoso personally, he replied: “So what happened is bad for everyone. We had Jenni lifting me. We had the fleeting kiss, two tenths of a second, but what was created from that is crazy. So what’s left for me is to defend my dignity. So it’s not about that Piers, it’s about humility.”
It felt like something of a stretch to claim the matter is about humility without being willing to admit he may have something to apologise for. And Rubiales followed up by continuing to dispute Hermoso's claim that she did not consent to the kiss, saying both parties in fact did.
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He continued: “So 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 has been summoned to testify in a Spanish court over 'kissgate' after a judge accepted the case earlier this week. In addition to the sexual assault charges, he also faces potential punishment for alleged coercion after he was accused of pressuring Hermoso and her relatives to alter their version of the events.
Watch Piers Morgan Uncensored, Monday to Thursday on TalkTV at 8pm. Available on Sky 522, Sky Glass 508, Virgin Media 606, Freeview 237 and Freesat 217 as well as on DAB, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Samsung TV Plus, YouTube, the http://Talk.TV website and TalkTV iOS and Android apps.
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