Six years after the alleged video blackmail attempt against Mathieu Valbuena, Real Madrid and French forward Karim Benzema and four other suspects goes on trial in Versailles, France on Wednesday 20th of October 2021.
The 33-year-old former Olympique Lyon striker is accused of complicity in the attempted blackmail of former international teammate Mathieu Valbuena, a case known as the “sextape affair”.
Prosecutors say Valbuena received a first call threatening to expose the sex tape in early June, 2015 while at the French squad’s training centre in Clairefontaine, west of Paris.
The anonymous caller said he wanted to “come to an arrangement” with Valbuena and told him to name an intermediary.
Mathieu Valbuena told Le Monde via The Guardian then that “Benzema wasn’t aggressive and he didn’t speak to me firmly, directly about money, but when you insist that I meet someone… hmmm.
“Personally I’ve never known of anyone willing to destroy a video for free just because they love me! You can’t take people for idiots.”
Prosecutors allege Benzema was recruited by the alleged blackmailers to convince his team mate to pay up.
The Real Madrid forward has denied wrongdoing and his lawyer has described the case against the player as “absurd”.
Both Benzema and Valbuena lost their places in France’s national team in the wake of the scandal.
Benzema was recalled to the France squad for this year’s European Championship and the trial comes at a time when the 33-year-old striker is doing fine on the pitch.
According to BFM TV, Karim Benzema will be absent in court today, but will be well represented by his lawyers. He faces up to five years in jail and a $87,240.00 fine if convicted.