Karim Benzema given 1-year suspended sentence, fined for sex tape scandal
(Update 1: add appeal, minor edits)
Versailles, France, Nov 24 (EFE).- Real Madrid and France striker Karim Benzema was on Wednesday handed a one year suspended sentence and ordered to pay a fine of 75,000 euros ($84,000) by a French court that found him guilty of being complicit in the blackmail of a fellow football player in a sex tape scandal.
The court in Versailles ruled that Benzema, 33, deliberately tried to convince Mathieu Valbuena to negotiate with blackmailers who were threatening to release a sex tape involving the then-Lyon player.
Benzema, who is currently in Moldova ahead of Real Madrid’s Champions League match against Sheriff Tiraspol, will appeal the verdict, one of his lawyers, Antoine Vey, said Wednesday.
Prosecutors said Benzema had acted as a mediator for the blackmailers, which the football star denied.
Neither Benzema nor Valbuena, who now plies his trade at Greek side Olympiacos, were present at the ruling.
Four others who were on trial for blackmail faced heftier sentences than the Real Madrid striker.
The scandal dates back to 2015 and cost both players a place in the French national team.
Benzema, LaLiga’s top goalscorer so far this year, missed out on the 2018 World Cup in Russia, which France won. EFE