Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema sentenced to one year suspended sentence in sex tape case

VERSAILLES, France – France and Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema were sentenced to a one-year suspended prison sentence on Wednesday and fined $ 84,000 in a sex tape case that rocked French football.

Benzema was found guilty of participating in a 2015 attempt to blackmail his France teammate Mathieu Valbuena.

The Versailles court ruling is unlikely to affect Benzema’s immediate sporting future. The forward is considered one of the favorites to win the Ballon d’Or on November 29 in Paris after an impressive season with Madrid. French federation president Noel Le Great has already said Benzema will be allowed to continue playing for France even if found guilty.

Benzema’s lawyers have said he will appeal.

Benzema, who has denied committing wrongdoing, did not attend the Versailles trial last month and was absent for the verdict. The other four defendants were also found guilty and did not appear in court on Wednesday.

Prosecutors called for Benzema to be fined 75,000 euros, the maximum allowed for the prosecution, and a 10-month suspended prison sentence if found guilty.

Benzema was charged with complicity in the attempted blackmail of a sex tape that was allegedly stolen from Valbuena’s cell phone.

After preliminary accusations in November 2015, Benzema was excluded from the French national team by coach Didier Deschamps. This caused Benzema to miss the 2016 European Championship, as well as the 2018 World Cup, which France won.

Deschamps recalled Benzema ahead of the delayed Euro 2020 tournament and has since fielded him regularly.

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