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Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema Found Guilty In Sex Tape Case

by : Hannah Smith on : 24 Nov 2021 13:46
Real Madrid's Karim Benzema Found Guilty In Sex Tape CaseAlamy

Footballer Karim Benzema has been handed a one-year suspended prison sentence after being found guilty of attempting to extort his teammate by threatening to leak his sex tape.

Benzema, who plays for Real Madrid, was one of five men charged with conspiracy to blackmail former French international Mathieu Valbuena, in a long-running scandal that shocked the footballing world.

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The saga began after a man asked by Valbuena to transfer the contents of his phone to a new device discovered the sexually explicit video, and threatened to publish it unless the former Marseille midfielder paid them money.

Karim Benzema (Alamy)Alamy

The court heard that Benzema had acted as an intermediary pressuring Valbuena to pay off the blackmailers while the pair were at a national team training camp in June 2015, having been recorded telling his co-conspirators ‘he’s not taking us seriously.’ Benzema denied the allegations, claiming he was trying to help Valbuena avoid the tape becoming public.

However, in handing down the sentence, which includes a €75,000 fine, a judge said that Benzema ‘implicated himself personally, through subterfuge and lies, to convince his teammate to submit to the blackmail.’

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Mathieu Valbuena and Karim Benzema in 2014 (Alamy)Alamy

Benzema’s co-defendants were also found guilty, with the BBC reporting that their sentences range from 18-months suspended to two-and-a-half years in prison.

Following the incident, both players lost their place in the French national team, though Benzema has since returned to the fold, and remains a key player for Real Madrid.

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Hannah Smith

Hannah is a London-based journalist covering news and features for UNILAD. She's especially interested in social and political activism.

Topics: Sport, France, Now

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BBC
  1. BBC

    Karim Benzema: French footballer guilty in sex tape blackmail case