French player Karim Benzema will face trial in October for alleged involvement in a sexual blackmail case against fellow team mate Matthieu Valbuena, the Versailles prosecutor’s office announced today.
Karim Benzema, 33, will be tried from October 20 to 22 on charges of complicity in an attempt to blackmail Matthieu Valbuena, 36, under a lawsuit that the Real Madrid striker denies and dates back to 2015.
The French international from Real Madrid, removed from the national team since 2015, is suspected of pressuring Matthieu Valbuena to pay blackmailers who threatened to reveal an intimate video in which the now Olympiacos Greek midfielder participated.
Investigators who accused Karim Benzema believe that the player was approached by a childhood friend to act as an intermediary and to convince the national teammate to deal directly with the blackmailers.
Instead, Matthieu Valbuena informed the police. The lawsuit involves four other people, who will be tried for blackmail.
When the story was made known, Benzema, who played 81 times for France and scored 27 goals, faced a ‘flood’ of criticism and then French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said the striker “had no place” in the French team.
Benzema, of Algerian descent, had a good relationship with the French coach Didier Deschamps, who deteriorated when he accused him of giving in to racist pressure, for not including him in the squad for the European2016.