Real Madrid's Karim Benzema charged for role in sex tape blackmail plot
Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema was questioned on Wednesday as part of an investigation into blackmailing compatriot Mathieu Valbuena over a sex tape and the player has now been charged by the concerned authorities, Eurosport confirmed.
The 27-year-old was placed in custody after being summoned for his alleged wrongdoing on Wednesday morning by the French police and they were trying to find out if the former Lyon player was involved in the extortion and blackmailing attempt on Olympique Lyon forward Valbuena.
Benzema had admitted earlier today to his role in the sex tape blackmail plot along with three other suspects, as per The Local. According to sources, Benzema was driven away from the police station in Versailles outside Paris in a police car with tinted windows.
The verdict is out and the Real Madrid star player has been found guilty. Benzema will now be charged with ‘complicity in an attempt to blackmail’ and conspiring to commit a criminal act by the prosecutor’s office. These offences are punishable and the law in France states that maximum punishment receivable for this offence is 5 years in jail along with €75,000 in fines.
“Karim Benzema was taken to the courthouse to be brought before a judge who will decide later on in the procedure,” said a public prosecutor.
“The judge will decide at the end of this presentation the status of Karim Benzema in the procedure, particularly his possible indictment or his placement under the status of assisted witness.”
Benzema’s lawyer had earlier denied any wrongdoing on the part of his client
A source close to the investigation had said earlier that Benzema had blackmailed Valbuena at the ‘request of a childhood friend’. Apparently, the player was approached by the three suspects who were in possession of the sex tape.
However, the player’s lawyer Cormier has insisted that his client has nothing to feel guilty about and he will be available for questioning soon, as per the reports on ESPN.
“Karim Benzema has absolutely nothing to feel guilty about,” he told reporters.
“Karim Benzema is happy, even satisfied, to be able to finally put an end to this painful controversy. It's an affair he took no part in.”
The 27-year-old striker and Valbuena play for the France national team but after this case, Benzema is not allowed to have any contact with the former Marseille midfielder. This will serve as a huge blow for coach Didier Deschamps as both players are regulars in his France squad in the international friendlies and qualifiers, but with this latest incident he now has an unexpected complication to handle.