Benzema faces trial in sex tape extortion case

Benzema faces trial in sex tape extortion case
Benzema faces trial in sex tape extortion case

Real Madrid’s French star Karim Benzema will appear before a Versailles court on Wednesday, accused of complicity in the attempted extortion of a 2015 sex tape of his former teammate Matteo Valbuena.

Benzema is accused of inciting Valbuena to pay a sum of money to the blackmailers who threatened to reveal an intimate video of the latter, and the former admitted his intervention in the matter at the request of one of the blackmailers.

This led to the exclusion of players from the “rooster” team since late 2015, before Benzema returned after nearly 6 years in the European Cup this summer, where the world champions were eliminated from the 16th round against Switzerland, before they achieved ten days ago the European Nations League title at the expense of Spain. In the final led by Benzema.

AFP

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On the pitch, Benzema did not appear distracted after leading his team to a landslide victory over its host Shakhtar Donetsk of Ukraine 5-0 in the group stage of the Champions League on the eve of the trial, scoring one goal and making another, and was chosen as the man of the match.

The 33-year-old is facing a prison sentence of up to five years and a fine of 75,000 euros, in the case in which four other men are being tried for attempted extortion, and one of them is also being tried for breach of trust.

The file is based in particular on a discussion in October 2015 between the two men at Clairefontaine, the Roosters training center, during which Benzema allegedly made it clear that he could introduce Valbuena to a “reliable person”, according to the latter at the hearing, to help him “deal”. With any possible publication of the tape.

The judiciary will determine whether this was the result of friendly advice or the target of harmful pressure.

When Benzema was referred to the Versailles criminal court in January, his lawyer Sylvain Cormier denounced the decision, saying: “Unfortunately, we are not surprised. This is a ridiculous and predictable decision.”

According to the prosecution, Benzema revealed to Valbuena the existence of the tape in October 2015, when the French national team was in a camp in preparation for a friendly match against Armenia in the southern city of Nice.

Benzema claimed at the time that he intervened with Valbuena at the request of a childhood friend of his, who was resorted to by the blackmailers who had the tape in their possession.

Source: “AFP”

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