Benzema arrested over alleged sextape blackmail of Valbuena
4 November 2015, Nirapad News: Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has been arrested by French police over an alleged blackmail attempt on fellow France star Mathieu Valbuena.
French media agency AFP reports Benzema went to a police station in Versailles, west of Paris. shortly before 9am today before being placed in custody.
The Versailles prosecutor has placed Benzema under formal criminal investigation, with a source close to the case saying: “We can confirm that he is being questioned over his role in this affair.”
There was no immediate comment from Benzema’s lawyers about today’s arrest.
It is claimed Valbuena, the 31-year-old Lyon midfielder, was asked for money in return for the tape not being published.
Benzema is the latest to be questioned, after former Liverpool forward Djibril Cisse was taken into custody last month.
Cisse was later released and denied any involvement in the supposed plot.
The matter relates to a investigation opened in July over claims that Valbuena, who now plays for Lyon, was the subject of an extortion attempt.
“I have nothing to do with it, Mathieu is a friend of mine,” Cisse said during an interview on French chat show Touche pas a mon poste.
“I just warned him that there was something hot going on involving him. That’s it. End of story.
“Frankly, it’s not funny. It’s something that could have been very bad for me and for him.”
At the time of Cisse’s questioning, three other suspects were arrested in Bouches-du-Rhone, in the south of France, and l’Oise, near Paris.
It is claimed the three men were behind an attempt to blackmail Valbuena, claiming to be in possession of a sextape involving the Lyon midfielder.
Benzema has been out injured for Real Madrid but could still be included in the latest France squad, which will be named on Thursday.
Valbuena, now back in Ligue 1 with Lyon, could also be involved.