Spanish police have arrested a man for allegedly sexually assaulting a female journalist, Isa Balado, while she was live on television.
Balado was reporting on a Madrid robbery on Tuesday when the man walked up and appeared to touch her bottom, which he denied when she confronted him, BBC reported.
Ms Balado tried to continue but was interrupted by the programme’s host, Nacho Abad who said, “Isa, forgive me for interrupting you… but did he just touch your bottom?”
The reporter confirmed it, and Abad told her to put the “idiot” on camera, to which the shot moved to show both Balado and the man, who was still standing with her, smiling and laughing.
“As much as you want to ask what channel we are from, do you really have to touch my bottom? I’m doing a live show and I’m working,” Balado told him.
The man then denied touching her, and as he walked away attempted to tickle her head.
Police later said a man had been arrested for allegedly assaulting a reporter while she was doing a live television show, in a message posted on X, formerly Twitter.
Mediaset Espana, which owns the news channel, issued a statement expressing its support for Ms Balado after the “absolutely intolerable situation” she suffered, and that it “categorically repudiates any form of harassment or aggression”.
Spain’s Labour Minister Yolanda Díaz also spoke out over the incident, saying it should not go unpunished. She wrote on X: “It is machismo that makes journalists suffer sexual assaults like this, and the aggressors are unrepentant in front of the camera.”
This incident comes amid a sexism row in Spain, sparked by the former Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales kissing World Cup winner Jenni Hermoso on the lips.
His actions during the Women’s World Cup final led to widespread criticism, his eventual resignation and a summons to court over accusations of sexual assault and coercion.