A reporter who was kissed by Kubrat Pulev during an on-camera interview last weekend alleged that the heavyweight boxer also groped her backside once the camera stopped rolling.
Pulev defeated Romania’s Bogdan Dinu by seventh-round knockout Saturday night in Costa Mesa. After the fight, he spoke on camera with Vegas Sports Daily writer Jenny SuShe, answering several questions before suddenly grabbing the reporter by the face and kissing her on the lips.
In the video, SuShe can be seen laughing after the incident. But the reporter, whose real name is Jennifer Ravalo, said during a news conference with attorney Gloria Allred on Thursday that she finds nothing amusing about the matter and alleged that Pulev’s inappropriate actions went beyond what was captured on video.
“I was immediately shocked and embarrassed, and didn’t know how to respond,” SuShe said while reading from a prepared statement. “Next, I walked to the table to put my items in my 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 grabbing my face, kissing me, or grabbing my backside. I was there at the event covering the boxing match as a professional member of the press. Kissing a woman on her lips without her consent and grabbing her is not acceptable.”
Pulev, who has yet to respond to the groping allegations, tweeted Monday about the on-camera incident, characterizing it as a playful encounter between friends.
“The reporter, Jenny, is actually a friend of mine, and after the interview, I was so elated, I gave her a kiss,” Pulev wrote. “Later that night, she joined me and my other friends at my post-fight celebration. On the video, after our kiss, we both laughed about it and thanked each other. There really is nothing more to this.”
During Thursday’s news conference, SuShe said she met Pulev for the first time at the weigh-in the day before the fight. She confirmed that she did attend the party after the fight because “there was an opportunity to interview more fighters” and did interact with Pulev while there.
“He acted like nothing happened but later at the party he asked me to remove the kiss from the interview,” SuShe said. “I did not remove it and instead posted it because I wanted people to see what he had done to me. I wanted him to be accountable. I didn’t want him to get away with it.
“What he did to me was disgusting. I felt humiliated. No woman should be treated this way. Mr. Pulev and I were not friends and we were not in a romantic relationship. He had no right to kiss me.”
At the news conference, Allred read from a letter she said she’s sent to the director of the California State Athletic Commission, asking for an immediate investigation of the matter, the suspension of Pulev’s license to fight in the state and the opportunity for SuShe and Allred to testify in front of the commission.
The CSAC said in a statement to CNN on Thursday that Pulav has been “notified that, before he will be licensed to fight in California again, he must appear in front of the commission and demonstrate that he conforms to this principle of respect.”