Eurosport tennis announcer Maly Thomas got more than she bargained for during a post-match interview with French tennis player Maxime Hamou.
Maxime Hamou, 21, was speaking with Eurosport’s Maly Thomas for an interview after his 6-3 6-2 6-4 defeat in the first round at the Roland-Garros stadium in Paris. Hamou, who is ranked 287th in the world, puts his arm around Thomas and tries to lean in and kiss her on the cheek. When Thomas again pulled away, Hamou leaned in again.
As a result, The French Tennis Federation said tournament organizers made the decision to revoke Maxime Hamou’s accreditation following his ‘inappropriate behavior towards a female journalist’.
Hamou released a statement on Tuesday on his Facebook page:
“I would like to offer my deepest apologies to Maly Thomas if she felt hurt or shocked by my behavior during her interview,” Hamou wrote. “I just spent a wonderful week here at Roland Garros, living my most beautiful emotions as a tennis player, and I let my overflow of enthusiasm express itself awkwardly toward Maly, who I know and who I sincerely respect. Nothing of what is written was my intention. I am available to her to present my apologies in person if she would like. I still learn every day from my mistakes to become a better tennis player and a better person.”
In an interview with The Huffington Post, Thomas said that the experience was ‘frankly unpleasant’, and that had it not been on live television, she would have ‘punched him.’
via The Huffington Post:
Thomas ― knowing she was on live TV ― attempted to laugh it off and escape Hamou’s grip. Despite Thomas’ obvious protest, Hamou continued to grab and kiss her.
On Tuesday, Thomas said that the interview was “frankly unpleasant.” “If I hadn’t been live on air, I would have punched him,” she added.