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French footballer Karim Benzema convicted of sex tape blackmail scandal


French footballer Karim Benzema has been found guilty of complicity in a sex tape blackmail scandal.

The 33-year-old Real Madrid forward has been accused of blackmailing his French teammate Mathieu Valbuena in 2015.

He was sentenced to a one-year suspended prison sentence and must pay a fine of € 75,000.

Benzema’s lawyers have announced that he plans to appeal the judgment; he denied any wrongdoing.

The four other defendants in this case were sentenced to terms ranging from 18 months suspended to two and a half years in prison.

Benzema claims he was helping his teammate get rid of an issue in the form of a compromising video, claiming he could introduce Valbuena to someone he trusted to help him.

Benzema’s conviction is unlikely to have any impact on the star striker’s athletic career, with French Football Federation president Noël Le Graët telling Le Parisien he would not be “left out” from the national team in the event of a judicial sanction.

“Even if he receives a suspended prison sentence, he still has the possibility of appealing a conviction,” said Le Graët.

Benzema is also seen as a possible favorite for the Ballon d’Or which will be awarded next week.

He returned to the France team to play in Euro 2020 after being absent for five and a half years and has since achieved a series of good performances for France.

Since the scandal broke, Valbuena, 37, has not been called upon to play for his country. He currently plays for the Greek team Olympiacos.

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euronews Gt

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