Benzema held over sextape blackmail: legal source
French footballer Karim Benzema was arrested on Wednesday (Nov 4) in connection with blackmail over a sextape featuring fellow player Mathieu Valbuena, a source close to the probe told AFP.
The Real Madrid and France star arrived at the police station in Versailles, near Paris, early on Wednesday and was placed in detention, the local prosecutor confirmed.
There was no further information.
Investigators are trying to determine the extent to which Benzema was aware of the intimate video featuring Valbuena, which found its way into the hands of blackmailers.
According to the source, Benzema mentioned the sextape to Valbuena during a meeting of the French team early last month.
It is thought one of Benzema’s relatives was contacted by the suspected blackmailers with a view to involving the footballer in their scheme, the source said.
Police are seeking to determine whether he was teasing Valbuena when he mentioned the tape, or trying to make him pay the blackmailers.
The blackmail case was first opened in late July, and carries a potential prison sentence of five years, local.fr reported.
The three suspected blackmailers, who are friends with several footballers, were charged and placed in detention in October.
The case also saw four other people arrested last month, including former French international footballer Djibril Cissé.
Cissé took to live television the day after his arrest to insist that he was innocent.
The existence of any x-rated video involving Lyon player Valbuena and his partner, however, has not actually been confirmed.
Sources: AFP, local.fr