Real Madrid Striker Karim Benzema Found Guilty Of Complicity In Mathieu Valbuena Sextape Blackmail Case
In a bombshell case that has rocked French football, Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has been found guilty of conspiring to blackmail his former teammate Mathieu Valbuena with a sextape.
Karim Benzema and four other defendants, including one of his childhood friends Karim Zenati, were on trial in Versailles, over the 2015 extortion attempt over a sexually explicit video that was stolen from Valbuena’s phone.
Benzema along with four other defendants are alleged to have humiliated Valbuena by threatening to publish a sex video ‘in the English media’ showing him having intimate relations with a partner.
The court heard that Benzema encouraged Valbuena to pay a group of alleged blackmailers in order to keep the sexually explicit tape out of the public eye.
Benzema however denied any wrongdoings. In his defence, he claimed that he was only trying to help Valbuena when he approached him about the sex tape at the French team’s training centre in October 2015.
However, the judge found him guilty of complicity. The Dail Mail reports that the court ruled that he had ‘implicated himself personally, through subterfuge and lies to convince his team-mate to submit to the blackmail.’
It added that he had shown ‘no kindness towards Valbuena’, as he had claimed, ‘just the opposite’, and even appeared to take pleasure in his fellow player’s demise.
Benzema was handed a one-year suspended sentence and a €75,000 (£63,000) fine by the judge today
One of Benzema’s lawyers Sylvain Cormier said he was stunned by the sentence. He claims the sentence was rather ‘severe, unfair and unfounded’.
Meanwhile, the four other defendants were also found guilty. Together with Benzema, they have since been ordered to pay Valbuena €80,000 in legal costs and €150,000 in damages.
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