Divergent star Ashley Judd got quite a shock Sunday when ESPN analyst Dick Vitale gave her a big smooch on the lips. The kiss happened during the second half of the SEC championship game between the Kentucky Wildcats and Arkansas Razorbacks. Judd is a Wildcats superfan and an alumna of the University of Kentucky where she majored in French and was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.
The photo of the kiss planted on Ashley was tweeted by the official account for the Kentucky Athletics Photo Department and the way their tweet was worded made it seem Vitale was the initiator. Judd has not said who initiated the kiss, but the tweeted photo quickly went viral.
— UK Photo (@UKphotogs) March 15, 2015
Ashley kissed Vitale on the cheek at the same basketball game, which he posted a photo of on his Instagram account, writing, “Eat ur heart out guys.”
Referring to the kiss on the lips, Judd said, “I’m disappointed that it’s been misinterpreted.”
Judd said she sees Vitale as “an uncle” Monday when asked about the awkward moment on MSNBC, but would an uncle plant a kiss like that on his niece’s lips with no warning?
Dick Vitale, 75-years-old, defended his kiss Monday after an opinion piece about the incident was published on the Chicago Tribune’s website, written by Shannon Ryan. The article stated the kiss is “no laughing matter” and asked “why do we think it’s cute, let alone acceptable, when old men are physically or verbally inappropriate with women, especially younger women?” Vitale claimed Ashley Judd planted the kiss on him rather than the other way around.
“Under no condition did I plant a kiss on Ashley. It’s the other way around. We’ve been friends for over a decade. It was simple as can be.”
Monday night Ashley Judd and Vitale’s awkward moment made David Letterman’s Top 10 List.
As the Inquistir previously reported, John Travolta planted a kiss on an unsuspecting Scarlett Johansson, which the actress defended, saying there’s nothing creepy about Travolta.
Aside from the kiss, whether Ashley or Vitale initiated it, Ashley has become the recipient of bullying on Twitter with threats made against her after one specific tweet she posted during the basketball game. Judd has deleted the tweet but will be pressing charges.
Ashley said about the tweet, “If I were in a more calm state of ind, I might have phrased [it] differently. I might have said, ‘I feel really disappointed with what seems [like] ultra-aggressive play. Instead, what I wrote [was], ‘I think Arkansas is playing dirty.'”
After bullying came her way concerning the tweet, Judd retweeted some of the responses she received, which are too vulgar to post here. Ashley did tweet that she was called a “wh***” and a “c***” and was threatened with sexual violence. On MSNBC, Judd had this to say about the rampant hatred found on social media.
“The way things happen on social media is so abusive, and everyone needs to take personal responsibility for what they write, and not allowing this misinterpretation and shaming culture on social media to persist. And by the way, I’m pressing charges.”
What do you think about the kiss Dick Vitale planted on Ashley Judd? Is that acceptable behavior? Are the name-calling and threatening tweets Ashley Judd has received evidence of a double standard when it comes to women voicing their opinions on sports?
[Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images]