Well, that escalated quickly! – Despite brushing off a post-fight interview interaction with Jenny ‘Sushe’ Ravalo initially, Kubrat Pulev finds himself in some hot American water.
Sushe drafted in R Kelly case lawyer Gloria Allred this week as the Vegas Sports Daily reporter seeks justice for what she describes as the ‘unacceptable’ behaviour of Pulev without her consent.
Initially, when the story broke, it didn’t seem likely to be taken this far. Pulev himself released a statement dismissing a video clip of him kissing Sushe as nothing more than playfulness.
Not so, according to Sushe, who now explains the Bulgarian brute also went further by grabbing her buttocks immediately after their one-to-one.
Speaking alongside, Allred – a notoriously powerful US attorney at the center of the R Kelly scandal, Sushe explained in detail the events she says transpired last weekend.
“March 22nd, 2019 I was at the Hangar, OC event center in Costa Mesa, California, when I met Kubrat Pulev for the first time ever,” stated Sushe.
“I was there for the weigh in. I asked him if we could do an interview for Vegas Sports Daily. He said “Yes”. We did a pre-fight interview.
“The next day, March 23rd, 2019 after the fight between Kubrat and Bogdan Dinu, I asked Kubrat for a post-fight interview. He said “Yes”.
“I conducted the interview in a backstage area inside his tent. I started the interview. Mid-interview, he grabbed my face and kissed me. I was immediately shocked and embarrassed, and didn’t know how to respond.
“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.”
Sushe then confirmed she did attend an event after the fight hosted by Team Pulev. There, Pulev interacted with Sushe, asking her not to post the kiss clip.
“Later that night, a friend invited me to an after-party. There was an opportunity to interview more fighters and therefore I decided to go. Mr. Pulev did not join until the very end of the night.
“He acted like nothing happened but later at the party. He asked me to remove the kiss from the interview. 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.
“I contacted Gloria Allred because I felt that Ms. Allred could help me impose consequences on Mr. Pulev for what he did to me.
“I never had this happen to me before and I never want it to happen again. A man should ask a woman before he kisses her. That did not happen in this encounter with Mr. Pulev and that is why I’m speaking out today.” – JENNY RAVALO – REPRESENTED BY ATTORNEY GLORIA ALLRED, MARCH 28, 2019.
As Sushe was considering her options, WBN was made aware of threats made to both the reporter in question by Vegas Sports Daily Managing Editor Mike Dixon, who himself was also a victim of the abuse.
Dixon was told ‘never to visit Bulgaria’ as online insults were hurled at the pair. Sushe, aside from the threats, has also been questioned over her truthfulness of how events transpired.
Some state she didn’t look uncomfortable, while others point to her role as an ambassador for posing naked with sushi all over her body.
The whole situation is becoming complicated, messy and dark – especially on social media.
One person said: “Jenny lies naked on a table and lets people eat sushi off her body, how offended can she be?”
Another stated: “Looks like she enjoyed it and looks very happy that she got a kiss, and said thank you! If I got a kiss and didn’t feel comfortable with that kiss, I would have gone off on him and punched him.”
A further shocking post, allegedly from Bulgaria added: “You are terrible wh***!!!!”
The questioning of Sushe has been defended vigorously in some quarters. One post read: “If you’re one of the morons commenting on what Jenny SuShe was wearing or talking about how she does naked sushi, as if that somehow excuses what Pulev did, you’re a f***ing a**hole. That’s victim blaming bull****.”
All in all, it seems with Allred involved an apology won’t be enough for Pulev, who almost certainly will have to seek legal action of his own moving forward.
US promoter Bob Arum is yet to formally comment on the situation, which could see Pulev punished for his actions.
In the current climate, and with lots of high profile cases open on this kind of subject, Pulev may be made an example of by stateside officials ruling on the matter.