Woody Allen is the latest high-profile figure to come to the defence of embattled Spanish football chief Luis Rubiales following his unsolicited kiss of Women’s World Cup winner Jenni Hermoso after last month’s final.
The Oscar-winning director, 87, told Spanish outlet El Mundo that Rubiales should apologise to Hermoso, but does not deserve to lose his job for what was ‘just a kiss’.
‘The kiss on the soccer player was wrong, but it did not burn down a school. He has the duty to apologise and go ahead… They didn’t hide, nor did he kiss her in a dark alley.
‘He wasn’t raping her, it was just a kiss and she was a friend. What’s wrong with that?’ Allen asked rhetorically.
‘In any case, it is difficult to understand that a person can lose their job and be penalised in that way for kissing someone.’
Oscar-winning director Allen, 87, told Spanish outlet El Mundo that Rubiales should apologise to Hermoso, but does not deserve to lose his job for what ultimately was ‘just a kiss’
Luis Rubiales kissing Jenni Hermoso on the lips after Spain won the Women’s World Cup
Allen’s comments on Rubiales come as the Spanish football chief’s own uncle (pictured) claimed several of his family members are siding with Jenni Hermoso in the ‘Kissgate’ scandal
Critics will be quick to point out that Allen’s glittering career as a filmmaker has been dogged by allegations that he molested his and Mia Farrow’s adopted daughter Dylan when she was seven.
He has long denied the allegations, saying they were fabricated by Farrow after he began a relationship with Soon-Yi Previn, another of Mia’s adopted daughters from a previous relationship.
Allen’s comments on Rubiales come as the Spanish football chief’s own uncle claimed several of his family members are siding with Jenni Hermoso in the ‘Kissgate’ scandal.
Juan Rubiales López described his nephew as ‘a man obsessed with power, luxury, money and even women,’ in an explosive 4,700-word interview with Spanish newspaper El Confidencial.
Describing his nephew as a ‘boy’, Juan added: ‘I think he needs a social re-education programme and re-education in his relationship with women.’
He went on to say that ‘the idea of dignity’ to the Rubiales family means ‘to defend Jenni, understand her, and to condemn the embarrassing behaviour of this president’.
Former journalist Juan admits he has had a strained relationship with his nephew ever since they worked together at the Spanish football association, where he disapproved of the way Luis treated staff.
His incendiary comments came after Rubiales’ mother was rushed to hospital on the third day of her hunger strike in protest against what she called the ‘inhuman’ treatment of her son.
Her admission came just 24 hours after she had defiantly said she would continue striking inside the 17th century church in Motril, near Malaga, ‘until she dropped’.
The 72-year-old said she was prepared to die to seek justice for her son, as she urged Hermoso to ‘tell the truth’ about the kiss that is set to seal the end of her son’s career.
Speaking from the inside of the church on Tuesday as she referred to the player, she said: ‘I just want the truth to be told.
‘She knows my son is very honest. If she tells the truth everything will be fixed.’
Rubiales has been given a 90-day ban by FIFA and Spain are looking to kick him out of his role, but he has defiantly refused to quit.
Juan, the brother of Luis’ father, who has now remarried, said he has ‘respect’ for his nephew’s mother.
He said she was ‘suffering’ amid the criticism being levelled her son, but doubled down on his own critique of Rubiales.
Meanwhile, Bejar’s family has been by her side throughout the protest and also voiced their support for Rubiales, repeatedly calling on Hermoso to ‘tell the truth’.
Hermoso last week denied Rubiales’ claim the post-match kiss was agreed during a brief conversion between the pair.
Luis Rubiales’ mother Angeles Bejar has revealed he begged her to stop her hunger strike
Rubiales’ relatives were pictured watching him at a press conference. Pictured: His father and stepmother
She said in a statement: ‘I felt vulnerable and a victim of an impulse-driven, sexist, out of place act without any consent on my part.
‘I want to make it clear that at no time did the conversation to which Mr. Luis Rubiales refers to in his address take place, and, above all, was his kiss ever consensual. I want to reiterate as I did before that I did not like this incident.’
Rubiales has since fought back, sending FIFA a copy of newly released footage showing the women’s football team celebrating and joking about his infamous kiss.
The clip uploaded to X – formerly Twitter – by journalist Alvise Perez shows Jenni Hermoso laughing at a meme of her being kissed by Rubiales.
Speaking exclusively to MailOnline, Rubiales’ cousin Demelza confirmed he had sent the new footage to officials in a bid to defend his case.
She said: ‘Yes, this video is sent, and he is going to send more things. There are many other things. There are conversations.
Hermoso appears to show off a meme on her phone comparing being kissed by Rubiales with former Spanish international Iker Casillas locking lips with reporter Sara Carbonero
‘We want the conversations to see the light, so they will. Everything will come out. He is going to end all this.
‘Jenni was not assaulted. She does not behave as if she was assaulted. Why does she say these things and then you see her on the bus laughing and joking.’
She added: ‘I haven’t had a chance to speak with Angeles yet and I know Luis will be worried for her. She’s an elderly woman and shouldn’t be put in this position. We just want her to come home.
‘When the news started to break on the TV about Jenni and Luis at first we thought it was a joke. Then we saw things were becoming serious and we were worried about what would happen.
‘We just want her to tell the truth.’
Meanwhile another of Rubiales’ cousins, Vanesa Ruiz Bejar, said outside the church this week: ‘There’s a campaign of harassment occurring that is very unfair.
Vanesa Ruiz Bejar addresses the media outside the church in Motril on Monday
The church where Angeles Bejar was on hunger strike is located in the Rubiales family’s home town of Motril, to the east of Malaga and south of Granada, on Spain’s southern coast
‘Luis’ mum who is a very religious person has sought refuge in God and started a hunger strike.
‘She doesn’t want to come out of the church. We are all suffering a lot because of what’s happened to Luis which doesn’t seem at all fair to us.
‘He’s been condemned already without being tried. It’s not normal… The facts speak for them, there are videos, there are audio recordings.’
In a direct message to Hermoso, she added: ‘Jenni, say the truth.’
‘Why has she changed her version three times? We have suffered a lot, we have had to leave our homes because of the harassment we’re suffering.
‘We won’t to be left alone and see justice done and we want this woman to tell the truth. Jenni, ‘tell the truth!’
She went on to say Angeles Bejar, Luis’ mum, was in a very distressed state, adding: ‘She’s an elderly lady whose health is very delicate and she’s suffering a lot.
Rubiales sparked more outrage after footage emerged of him grabbing his crotch while celebrating Spain’s win in the vicinity of Spanish Queen Letizia and her 16-year-old daughter
In an odd speech at an RFEF meeting on Friday, Rubiales refused to quit and blasted ‘false feminists’
‘She’s crying all the time and is not able to sleep and is not eating.
‘The person that spends five minutes with Luis knows he’s a really good person with a big heart. He’s a very noble person.’
Rubiales sparked outrage after he kissed Hermoso on the mouth as she stepped up to receive her medal following Spain’s 1-0 win.
Footage also emerged that showed Rubiales grabbing his crotch while standing near Queen Letizia of Spain and her 16-year-old daughter Princess Infanta Sofia – behaviour he apologised for.
Hermoso has since been threatened with legal action by the Spanish football federation after she said she didn’t consent to the kiss and disputed Rubiales’ version of events.
Rubiales claimed that Hermoso ‘lifted me up’ during the celebrations and agreed to ‘a little kiss’.
‘The kiss was the same I could give one of my daughters,’ Rubiales added.
He was provisionally suspended by FIFA ‘from all football-related activities at national and international level’ with disciplinary proceedings opened against the 46-year-old.
81 Spanish players – including all 23 who went to the Women’s World Cup – have announced they will not represent their country until Rubiales is removed from his position.
I am Rakesh Sharma, I associated with Elite News as an Editor, since 2021. I take care of all the news operations like content, budget, hiring and policy making.