A TV reporter who was kissed by a stranger during a live TV segment filed a police report after the incident.
Sara Rivest, a reporter for WAVE TV in Louisville, Kentucky, was doing a live segment outside a local music festival on Friday when a man popped on camera and planted an unwanted kiss on her cheek.
Rivest was mid-sentence when the unwanted interaction occurred and she was forced to keep her cool in a heated situation.
“OK, that was not appropriate,” Rivest said immediately after, while laughing nervously. “Let’s just go to the story.”
The station then aired a previously filmed segment before returning to Rivest. At that point, a male anchor asked her if she was OK and “free from the kissing bandit,” before pointing out there was a police officer right behind her.
“Yeah, I might need some help,” she responded, laughing.
Rivest told InsideEdition.com that when the segment ended, she “just started screaming at the man, ‘You’re so rude! You’re so rude!’”
Although Rivest said it’s common for reporters to be interrupted on live TV, that doesn’t make it OK. It’s also a bad way to introduce yourself.
“It doesn’t make that guy cool and it doesn’t make some girl say, ‘Oh wow, I want him,’” she said.
Nearly a week after the incident, Rivest is still bothered by it.
“He knew I couldn’t do anything about it. And in a way, it’s like an exertion of power because it’s like, ‘She can’t stop me.’”
The news hit shows her laughing, but Rivest said she didn’t think it was funny.
Staying upbeat “came from a place of wanting the viewer to know I was OK,” she said, “but also feeling so uncomfortable that I didn’t know how else to react.”
Since the unwanted kiss went viral, Rivest said thousands of people have reached out to her, including journalists, nurses and restaurant workers who have had similar experiences.
Rivest told USA Today that typically reporters don’t go public with this sort of harassment because they “don’t want to be the story.”
But she sees value in discussing the incident.
“I think when we don’t speak up about it, it just makes it under the radar even more,” she said.
The Louisville Metro Police Department has since arrested the alleged suspect, Eric Goodman, and charged him with harassment with physical contact, a misdemeanor, according to NBC News.