Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema arrested in sextape blackmail case

Real Madrid forward and French international Karim Benzema was arrested today in connection with a plot to blackmail fellow French international and Lyon player, Mathieu Valbuena, according to multiple reports.

Benzema, 27, was called to the police station in Versailles early this morning, but the public prosecutor’s office would only confirm that he was being held for questioning.

According to The Guardian, the case involves an alleged attempt to blackmail Valbuena with what the French news agency AFP reports is a sex tape recorded on a mobile phone.

L’Equipe said investigators wanted to know whether a conversation between Benzema and Valbuena during the international break earlier this month was friendly advice or part of the plot.

Retired footballer Djibril Cissé was interviewed in connection with the case recently, but was released and cleared of any wrongdoing.

According to The Guradian, Benzema’s attorney, Sylvain Cormier, told the Sunday newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche that his client would respond to any police summons, adding that his client was targeted by blackmailers in 2011.

There has been no additional comment from Benzema, his attorney or anyone else involved in the matter.

Attempted blackmail carries a maximum five-year prison sentence in France.

This is not the first time Benzema has been involved with off-field controversy.

Five years ago, Benzema and fellow French international Franck Ribery faced charges for soliciting an underage prostitute. Both were questioned in an investigation into a suspected network of prostitutes that operated out of a Paris nightclub.

The case lasted three years before they were acquitted.

UPDATE: Reports are emerging that Benzema will be held overnight by French authorities.

More on this story

Guardian: Karim Benzema arrested by police in sex-tape blackmail case

FOX Sports: Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema arrested in blackmail case

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About Randy Capps

South Carolina native, Fulham apologist, writer and sports fanatic.