Benzema to stand trial in October for alleged blackmail
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Benzema to stand trial in October for alleged blackmail

The Versailles prosecutor’s office has said Karim Benzema will face trial in October for his alleged involvement in blackmailing former France teammate Matthieu Valbuena over a sex tape.

Benzema will stand trial from Oct. 20-22 on the charge of complicity in attempted blackmail. He denies any wrongdoing.

The Real Madrid striker is suspected of pressuring Valbuena in 2015 to pay blackmailers who threatened to reveal an intimate video in which Valbuena featured.

Benzema has been banned from the national team since November 2015 because of his suspected involvement in the scandal, despite consistent appearances for Real Madrid.

The investigators who charged Benzema believed he was approached by a childhood friend that year to act as an intermediary and convince Valbuena to deal directly with the blackmailers. Instead, Valbuena informed the police.

Four other people will also stand trial over the attempted blackmail scheme. When the story broke, Benzema faced a deluge of criticism and then Prime Minister Manuel Valls said he had “no place” in the national team.

Benzema, who is of Algerian descent, had a good relationship with France coach Didier Deschamps but it deteriorated when he accused Deschamps of giving in to pressure from racists when the coach did not include him in the squad for the 2016 European Championship.

Benzema appeared 81 times for France, and scored 27 goals.

John Bergstein
John Bergstein
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John Bergstein is an investigative journalist who has been a staff writer for Republik City News since 2019. His works frequently address the topics of technology, politics and corruption.