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Karim Benzema found guilty in sex tape extortion scandal

The Real Madrid forward’s lawyer said he would appeal against the verdict
Karim Benzema.

Reuters   |   Published 25.11.21, 01:37 AM

France and Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema was found guilty of complicity in the attempted blackmail of a former international teammate over a sex tape on Wednesday and sentenced to a one-year suspended jail term.

The Versailles court also fined him 75,000 euros ($84,170) and ordered him to pay former teammate Mathieu Valbuena 80,000 euros to cover legal costs and 150,000 euros in damages together with his three other co-accused.


Benzema’s lawyer said he would appeal against the verdict. Benzema, who had denied any wrongdoing, was not in court.

“This outcome in no way corresponds with the reality of events,” lawyer Antoine Vey told reporters afterwards. Real Madrid declined to comment.

Earlier this month, the president of the French Football Federation, Noel Le Graet, said Benzema would not be excluded from the national team were he to be convicted and given the suspended sentence prosecutors wanted.

“The coach will always be responsible for his selection and Benzema will not be left out because of an eventual judicial sanction,” Le Graet told Le Parisien.

Prosecutors had argued that Benzema had encouraged Valbuena to pay a suspected group of blackmailers in order to keep the sexually explicit tape out of the public eye.

They said Valbuena received the first of several phone calls threatening to expose the tape in June 2015. 

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