Man Accused of Groping Reporter During Broadcast

Incident has added to outrage over sexism in Spain
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2023 7:27 AM CDT

A man who appeared to grope a reporter during a live broadcast in Spain has been arrested on suspicion of sexual assault. Video shows the man apparently groping Isa Balado's rear as she reported on a robbery in Madrid on Tuesday, Reuters reports. She tried to continue the broadcast but was interrupted by producer Nacho Abad, who asked, "Did he just touch your bottom?" He asked Balado to put the "idiot" on camera, the BBC reports. The man denied touching Balado, but attempted to touch her head as he walked away. He continued to linger in the street and approached Balado again to say she should "tell the truth."

The incident, just days after Spain's soccer chief resigned amid widespread criticism for kissing team captain Jenni Hermoso without her consent, was condemned by Spanish lawmakers. "What until now was 'normal' is no longer so," the country's acting equality minister, Irene Montero, said in a tweet, per the Guardian. "Non-consensual touching is sexual violence and we say enough to impunity." Yolanda Diaz, Spain's labor minister, said it is "machismo that makes journalists suffer sexual assaults like this, and the aggressors are unrepentant in front of the camera."

Balado works for the Cuatro channel. Its owner, Mediaset Espana, said it "categorically repudiates any form of harassment or aggression" and fully supports Balada "after the absolutely intolerable situation she has suffered." The company said it called police during the incident and they arrived on the scene within minutes.

(More Spain stories.)

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