It appears the recipient of Kubrat Pulev’s unprompted kiss didn’t enjoy the experience after all.
Jennifer Ravalo, who received an out-of-nowhere kiss from the heavyweight contender after an interview on Saturday, has hired women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred and intends to take legal action against the boxer, according to TMZ.
Allred has reportedly already requested the California State Athletic Commission conduct an investigation into Pulev and suspend his boxing license.
What happened with Kubrat Pulev and Jennifer Ravalo
The bizarre saga of Pulev’s kiss began Saturday night, after Pulev knocked out Bogdan Dinu to notch his seventh straight win. Ravalo, working as a reporter under the name Jenny SuShe for Las Vegas Sports Daily, asked if he believed the win should give him a shot at Tyson Fury.
Pulev responded with a simple “yes,” then went in for a completely unexpected kiss.
The kiss immediately drew outrage for the perceived violation of a reporter’s personal space. Pulev attempted to deflect the criticism by releasing a statement on Twitter claiming that he and Ravalo are actually good friends, and the pair laughed about it after.
For the most commented kiss in the world! pic.twitter.com/T1Ktlprff4
— Kubrat Pulev (@KubratPulev) March 26, 2019
Ravalo is now publicly disputing that account, and throwing out another allegation.
Reporter: ‘I didn’t know how to respond’
In a media conference with Allred, Ravalo gave her side of the story. In addition to the on-camera kiss which she said was completely unwarranted, Ravalo also alleged that Pulev grabbed her back-side as she began loading her backpack, per Boxing Scene:
"I started the interview and mid-interview he grabbed my face and kissed me. I was immediately shocked, embarrassed and I didn’t know how to respond. Next I walked to a table to put my items into a backpack. He grabbed both of my buttocks and squeezed with both of his hands. Then he walked away without saying anything to me and laughed. It made me feel uncomfortable and frustrated that Kubrat Pulev would treat me in such an unprofessional manner.”
"I did not encourage or consent to Mr Pulev kissing me or grabbing my backside. I was there at the event covering the boxing match as a professional member of the press.”
Ravalo also denied Pulev being a friend of her’s, saying the party she attended with Pulev was also a random, uncomfortable run-in:
"Later that night a friend invited me to an after party. There was an opportunity to interview more fighters and so I decided to go. Mr. Pulev did not join until the very end of the night. He acted like nothing happened, but at the end of the party, he asked me to remove the kiss from the interview.
"I did not remove it, but I posted it, because I wanted people to see what he had done to me. I wanted him to be accountable. I did not want him to get away with it. What he did to me was disgusting. I felt humiliated and no woman should be treated this way. Mr. Pulev and I were not friends, and were not in a romantic relationship. He had no right to kiss me."
The California Commission has since released a statement, per Boxing Scene, saying it is taking the incident seriously and Pulev will have to appear at a hearing before it licenses him to fight in the state again.
Claressa Shields: ‘This woman was sexually assaulted’
Boxer Claressa Shields came to Ravalo’s side and blasted Pulev for his actions. Shields labeled the incident as sexual assault and wants Pulev to be accountable for what transpired.
Boxing fans should be ashamed of themselves. This woman was sexually assaulted, not only did he kiss her, but groped her butt after the interview. I’m not saying Pulev should be sentenced to 20 years in jail, or any jail time at all. He needs to apologize & be held accountable. https://t.co/nkTkFEwhNv
— ClaressaT-rexShields (@Claressashields) March 29, 2019
Pulev’s girlfriend: ‘It is more of a joke’
Pulev’s girlfriend, Bulgarian pop star Andrea, also entered the fray with a Facebook post featuring the couple dressed up and looking very seriously at something off-camera.
In the post, written in Bulgarian and English, Andrea called the whole thing “a rather comical situation” and questioned if Ravalo could be a victim if she still uploaded video of the kiss. Of course, not uploading video of the kiss was exactly what Ravalo said Pulev wanted her to do, so the statement is rather ridiculous on its face, not even considering the photo.
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