Benzema faces court for blackmailing ex-teammate

PARIS (Agencies): French football star Karim Benzema was sent to court for blackmailing ex-teammate Mathieu Valbuena with a sex tape. French sports daily L’Equipe reported Thursday that four other men will also stand trial in the case at Versailles Criminal Court.

Svylain Cormier, Benzema’s lawyer, condemned the brutal attitude toward his client, adding that: “We are unfortunately not surprised. This is a decision as absurd as it is predictable.” The 33-year-old forward is facing a trial for having pressured Valbuena to pay blackmailers who threatened to reveal a private video of his ex-teammate.

Meanwhile, France national team manager Didier Deschamps did not include Benzema in the squad for the UEFA EURO 2016 finals because of this incident. Throughout his career, Benzema helped Spain’s Real Madrid win four UEFA Champions League titles, four FIFA Club World Cups, three UEFA Super Cup trophies, and three Spanish La Liga titles. Benzema also produced 27 goals in 81 games with France.