Skip to main content

Karim Benzema found guilty in sex tape blackmail case

Real Madrid v Manchester City – UEFA Champions League – Round of 16 – First Leg – Santiago Bernabeu
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

France striker Karim Benzema has been given a one-year suspended prison sentence after being found guilty of conspiring to blackmail former international team-mate Mathieu Valbuena over a sex tape.

A judge also ordered the Real Madrid player to pay a fine of 75,000 Euros (£63,000).

Benzema was put on trial last month over the attempt to extort money from Valbuena in 2015 by pressuring him to pay blackmailers, who threatened to reveal an intimate video.

Former France international Mathieu Valbuena, right, currently plays in Greece for Olympiacos

Former France international Mathieu Valbuena, right, currently plays in Greece for Olympiacos (PA)

Four other men, who were found to have been directly involved, have been handed sanctions ranging from 18-month suspended sentences to two-and-a-half years in jail.

Benzema, who was absent from the trial, had denied any wrongdoing.

He was banned from the national team in November 2015 because of his suspected involvement in the scandal but was recalled for this summer’s delayed Euro 2020 tournament.

French federation president Noel Le Graet has already said the 33-year-old would be allowed to continue playing for France, even if found guilty.

Karim Benzema is expected to play for Real Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday evening

Karim Benzema is expected to play for Real Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday evening (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Benzema’s lawyers have said he will appeal the verdict.

The forward, who has scored 36 goals in 94 appearances for his country, is expected to start on Wednesday evening when Real Madrid play Moldovan club FC Sheriff Tiraspol in the Champions League.

Attacking midfielder Valbuena currently represents Greek club Olympiacos.

The 37-year-old won 52 France caps between 2010 and 2015, including playing alongside Benzema at Euro 2012 and the 2014 World Cup.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1


*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1