Benzema arrested during investigation into alleged blackmail of Valbuena over sex tape
Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has been arrested by the French Police in connection with the alleged blackmail of compatriot Mathieu Valbuena over a sex tape, as per the reports on Mirror. Benzema was taken into custody on Tuesday to be questioned about the alleged crime while former Liverpool forward Djibril Cisse was also questioned about the affair last month but was later released by the authorities.
The 27-year-old and his national teammates have been keeping a low profile by playing some friendlies over the past few months, as they prepare ahead of next summer’s Euro 2016 which is going to be played in France. The team’s off-field activities have always been closely watched by the media and it has grabbed few headlines over the years.
French media agency AFP has reported that Benzema visited a judicial police office in Versailles shortly before lunchtime and was immediately placed in custody. Los Blancos star player is currently under formal criminal investigation and a source close to the case has revealed that ‘he is being questioned over his role in this affair’. However, there was no immediate comment from Benzema’s lawyers about the arrest.
According to sources, it has been claimed that Valbuena, who joined Lyon from Marseille in summer, was asked for money in return for the sex tape not being published. Benzema’s former teammate was also questioned by the authority and he was taken into custody last month.
The matter relates to an investigation on the subject of an extortion attempt by the Frenchman but Cisse took to live television the day after his arrest to insist that he was innocent.
“I have nothing to do with it, Mathieu is a friend of mine,” Cisse said in an interview.
“I just warned him that there was something hot going on involving him. That’s it. End of story. Frankly, it's not funny. It's something that could have been very bad for me and for him.”
Along with Cisse, there were three other people involved in this case and they were arrested in Bouches-du-Rhone, in the south of France, and L’Oise, near Paris. Apparently, the three men were behind an attempt to blackmail the former Marseille midfielder.
This will serve a huge blow to Real Madrid and the France national team. Benzema is on the recovery from an injury he picked up during the recent international break, but he and Valbuena could be included in France’s squad on Thursday.