Karim Benzema of Real Madrid faces a blackmail prosecution over a ‘sex tape’ controversy

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Matthieu ValbuenaBenzema denies wrongdoing and lawyer says move is ‘absurd’ Striker allegedly tried to blackmail

The Versailles prosecutor’s office reported Thursday that Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema faces trial for allegedly attempting to blackmail his former French teammate Matthieu Valbuena in a “sex tape” scandal. The prosecutor’s office announced he will face charges of attempted extortion.

Since November 2015, Benzema, 33, has been suspended from the national team for his alleged participation in the scandal, while he has repeatedly turned out to be for Madrid. Researchers accusing Benzema claim that a childhood friend approached him that year to serve as a go-between and persuade Valbuena to meet directly with the blackmailers.

Valbuena told the police instead. Four other parties in the case will also face trial.

Benzema denies any misconduct. “This decision is as absurd as it is predictable,”persecution”persecution”This decision is as absurd as it is predictable. Benzema faced a barrage of criticism when the news broke and Manuel Valls, then prime minister, said the former Lyon player had “no place” in the national team. Since scoring twice in a 4-0 win over Armenia in October 2015, Benzema has not played for France, bringing his tally to 27 goals in 81 caps. For Real Madrid, he has scored more than 250 goals and won four Champions League titles with the Spanish club.

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