Russian who groped female World Cup reporter apologises
Berlin, Jun 22 (AFP) A Russian football fan apologised today for groping and kissing a German TV correspondent during a live telecast from the World Cup.
"I offer you most profound apologies," he told Colombian journalist Julieth Gonzalez Theran in a video call that was shown by broadcaster Deutsche Welle.
"I acted carelessly and did not think that I would cause you confusion and shock," added the fan, who declined to give his name.
Theran was reporting from the Russian city of Saransk when the man appeared suddenly, one hand grabbing her arm and the other her breast while kissing her on the cheek.
His abrupt action sparked condemnation of sexual harassment from the German international channel, whose clip of the incident went viral online.
The Russian man said he had placed a bet with a friend that he could kiss the reporter on the cheek, and had waited for her to go on-air before springing on her.
He added that he thought he was grabbing her shoulders with both hands but "apparently I missed a little".
Theran said she appreciated his apology and voiced her determination to move on from the episode.
"I refuse to be a victim, I just want to continue with my job," she said.
The assault came at a time when the online #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct has made waves around the world, prompting victims to come forward to report harassment, including by leading figures in industry and the arts