Benzema was given a one-year suspended sentence in the sex tape case
Versailles France and Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema was given a one-year suspended prison sentence and a fine of 75,000 euros ($84,000) on Wednesday in a sex tape case that shook French football.
Benzema was found guilty of involvement in an attempt in 2015 to blackmail his French colleague Mathieu Valbuena.
The Versailles court’s decision is unlikely to affect Benzema’s immediate future. The striker is one of the favorites to win the Ballon d’Or on November 29 in Paris after an impressive season with Madrid. The president of the French Federation, Noel Le Graet, had already said that Benzema would allow him to continue playing for France even if he was found guilty.
Benzema’s lawyers said he would appeal.
Benzema has denied any wrongdoing, did not attend the Versailles trial last month and was absent from the sentencing. The other four defendants were also found guilty and did not appear in court on Wednesday.
Prosecutors demanded that Benzema be fined 75,000 euros, the maximum allowed on the charge, and a 10-month suspended prison sentence if found guilty.
Benzema has been accused of complicity in an attempted extortion over a sex tape believed to have been stolen from Valbuena’s mobile phone.
After initial accusations were made in November 2015, Benzema was dropped from the French national team by coach Didier Deschamps. This led to Benzema’s absence from the 2016 European Championship, as well as the 2018 World Cup which France won.
Deschamps called up Benzema before the Euro 2020 tournament was postponed and since then has regularly involved him.
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