Jenni Hermoso / Leah Williamson

Lioness Leah Williamson breaks silence on Spanish kiss-gate scandal and defends controversial leaked video

Leah came out in defence of Jenni Hermoso

Lionesses star Leah Williamson has broken her silence on the Spanish kiss-gate scandal that’s rocked Women’s football recently.

The England captain has also spoken out in defence of a controversial leaked video featuring Jenni Hermoso too.

Luis Rubiales kissing Jenni Hermoso
Rubiales kissed Hermoso at the World Cup Final (Credit: BBC)

Spanish kiss-gate rocks women’s football

Earlier this month, England faced Spain in the Women’s World Cup Final. The Spaniards beat the Lionesses 1-0.

As the Spanish team went up to collect their medals, they were greeted by dignitaries. One of the dignitaries was the president of the Spanish FA, Luis Rubiales.

As Rubiales greeted Jenni Hermoso, the Spanish captain, he kissed her on the lips. He was immediately slammed by fans. However, he defended himself, claiming that the kiss was consensual – something Hermoso later denied.

Despite growing calls for him to resign, Rubiales refused. The Spanish FA even threatened to sue Hermoso for her comments.

Last weekend, FIFA issued Rubiales with a temporary suspension, lasting for 90 days. This is while they complete an inquiry into his behaviour.

Lionesses star Leah Wiliamson
Leah was on Lorraine today (Credit: ITV)

Lionesses star Leah Williamson speaks out

However, a new video has leaked online, showing Hermoso and her Spanish teammates laughing about the kiss while on the team bus later that same evening.

Now, Lionesses star Leah – who was not part of the World Cup squad due to injury – has broken her silence on the kiss-gate scandal – as well as the leaked video.

During an appearance on Lorraine today (Thursday, August 31), Leah said that she doesn’t believe the leaked video undermines Hermoso’s complaints against Rubiales. She said that women are “conditioned” to brush off such behaviour.

“It’s conditioned behaviour. Unless you’ve stood in the shoes of, especially in this case, a woman that’s faced that [then you don’t know how you would react],” she said.

Leah, 26, then continued. “I don’t know anyone that hasn’t had that sort of experience. Maybe not to those extremes, but a sexist, misogynistic experience throughout her life, and she is conditioned to laugh it off,” she said.

Leah Williamson on Lorraine
Leah defended Jenni Hermoso (Credit: ITV)

Lionesses star Leah Williamson defends leaked video

Leah went on. “I think it’s really sad. I put myself in Jenni’s shoes, as a female athlete, she should be celebrating the biggest achievement of her life and unfortunately, it’s been overshadowed by this,” she said.

“But I also think it’s important to remember we’ve lived – especially women and women in football – in this misogynistic, sexist environment for a hundred years, you know, and it’s not changed,” the Lionesses star then said.

“I think she’s really brave to speak out and to say, actually, the shock of what happened after that, and after that settled down, to think, “This is wrong and I’m not going to let this happen to future women,” she then continued.

Leah was then asked whether the issue extends beyond Rubiales and the Spanish FA. “‘I think for women in football it’s maybe different degrees, but it’s actually a lot more common than you think,” she said.

“That’s actually why everyone is standing unconditionally with Jenni now because you don’t want something like this to happen but when it does you have to use it to educate and re-educate people, because it does happen on a daily basis just not in that form.”

Read more: Spanish FA boss’ mother hospitalised after going on hunger strike following kiss-gate

Luis Rubiales: Calls for resignation over Jenni Hermoso kiss - BBC News

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Robert Emlyn Slater
Senior Writer

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