Player Kicked Out of French Open For Harassing Female Reporter
In a later statement the player said he let his “excess of enthusiasm express itself awkwardly”.
21-year-old French qualifier Maxime Hamou has been banished from the French Open after the player forcibly kissed a TV journalist on Live TV following his first-round exit, the French tennis federation (FFT) said.
"The management of the tournament has decided to revoke Maxime Hamou's accreditation following his reprehensible behaviour with a journalist yesterday," the FFT said in statement.
Footage of the interview (as seen above) shows Hamou putting his arm around the journalist’s neck and repeatedly kissing her on the side of the head. As the reporter looked embarrassed and tried to push him away, he kissed her again.
After answering a question Hamou, who is ranked 287 in the world, kissed her a third time, and pulled her towards him while she tried to peel his hand off her chest.
“Had it not been live, I would have punched him,” the reporter was quoted as saying by The Huffington Post.
Hamou, who is ranked 287th, posted a statement on Instagram in which he apologized to Thomas "if she feels hurt or shocked by my attitude during her interview."
He wrote, in French, that he let his "excess of enthusiasm express itself awkwardly toward Maly, who I know and sincerely respect."
Hamou added that he would offer an apology in-person if Thomas wants one.
We sincerely regret the incident that occurred during yesterday evening’s interview between Maly Thomas and Maxime Hamou. The behaviour of the interviewee was highly inappropriate and we do not condone such conduct in any way. Maly is a highly respected journalist and we are pleased that a full apology is being offered.Eurosport statement to Reuters
French Sports Minister Laura Flessel took to Twitter to condemn the “assault” and also criticized 1988 French Open runner-up Henri Leconte and other in-studio guests who laughed at and applauded Hamou's on-air actions.
"A live assault is not funny," Flessel wrote. "We should never let this happen, and never trivialize such acts."
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.