Five years imprisonment from October ?: Benzema is threatened with sex video extortion

Five years imprisonment from October?
Benzema is threatened with sex video extortion

Needed by David

Karim Benzema scores goals on the assembly line for Real Madrid, now he is being tried in the case of sex video blackmailing an ex-colleague. The scandal that shocked the whole country was six years ago. Now Benzema could go to jail for it.

It’s actually going well for Karim Benzema. And really. The Real Madrid striker is currently shooting goals on the assembly line, almost making the great Cristiano Ronaldo almost forgotten by the Spaniards. In 24 league games, the French netted 17 times, provided six assists and thus almost single-handedly kept the Spanish soccer champions in the race to successfully defend their title. Most recently, he managed to score twice in a row and at least one goal in five games in a row. The newspapers were full of superlatives.

The 33-year-old could lean back and relax during the international matches in the World Cup qualifying this week. However, there is a reason that Benzema is not part of the French national team. And this reason is not a succinct one: The striker was thrown from the team six months before the 2016 European Championship in his own country because he allegedly acted as an accomplice in the attempted blackmailing of his then national team colleague Mathieu Valbuena in June 2015. He has been prosecuted since then.

The prosecutor in Versailles near Paris now reports that the trial of Benzema and his alleged accomplices will begin on October 20th. According to the French news agency AFP, the Real Madrid star is accused of “aiding and abetting an extortion attempt” – and the court case could have consequences that go far beyond the possible fine of 75,000 euros, which Benzema would be happy to accept: the ex- National players face a prison sentence of up to five years. Benzema acquaintances blackmailed Valbuena with a sex tape. Benzema is said to have put pressure on the former colleague to pay the required “hush money” of 150,000 euros. Benzema’s defense always denied the allegations.

Ex-President Hollande: Benzema is not a moral role model

As a reminder, a reconstruction: Mathieu Valbuena received several calls in 2015 during an international match for the Equipe Tricolore. His interlocutors tried to blackmail him by broadcasting a sex video, he says. The ex-international files a complaint. The police investigated from June to October, and on October 6th, Valbuena and Benzema even spoke personally about the sex tape. Then suddenly the French national team colleague Djibril Cissé is taken into police custody, but released again shortly afterwards.

On November 2, 2015, Benzema was arrested for allegedly establishing contact with Valbuena for the extortionists, charged with “complicity in attempted extortion and involvement in a criminal organization” and placed under judicial supervision. Benzema then accuses Valbuena of lying. Some of the charges are dropped, but Benzema is still not nominated for the home European Championship. The professional with an Algerian background accuses national team coach Didier Deschamps of giving in to “a racist part of France” by not being nominated.

Politicians also comment on the scandal case. In March 2016, then Prime Minister Manuel Valls said he would not like to see Benzema’s return to the national team. Ex-President Francois Hollande is quoted in a book as saying that Benzema is not a moral role model.

Zidane can’t believe it

In July 2017, the French soccer star actually achieved a legal success: the French supreme court overturned an earlier judgment that approved the previous judicial investigation against the Madrilenian. But Benzema cannot be happy about it for too long, because the Paris Court of Appeal is reopening the case. Three years later, the process actually begins and those responsible at Real Madrid will also be watching what happens to their top striker.

Benzema himself described the impending trial as a “farce” back in January. In May 2020, he even expressed hopes of being able to return to the national team. “I would be happy to return in the blue jersey,” he told the French sports newspaper “L’Équipe” at the time. Just over a week ago, Real coach and France’s football icon Zinédine Zidane also got involved and said that he didn’t understand why Benzema was again not selected for the French team. Now Zidane will hope that he can even call the striker into the Madrid squad next year and that he will not be in jail.