Football: French court to hand down sex tape verdict on Real's Benzema on Nov 24

Ex-France player Mathieu Valbuena leaving court on the opening day of the trial involving Real forward Karim Benzema, accused of complicity in the alleged blackmail of his former teammate, in Versailles on Oct 20, 2021. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

PARIS (REUTERS) - A French court will hand down its verdict in Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema's "sex tape affair" trial on Nov 24, French CNews and BFM televisions reported on Friday (Oct 22).

The 33-year-old is charged with complicity in the attempted blackmail of his former France international teammate Mathieu Valbuena over a sex tape. He has denied wrongdoing.

The French media said on Thursday that prosecutors have recommended that Benzema, if found guilty, be handed a 10-month suspended jail term and be fined €75,000 (S$117,560).

Prosecutors allege that Benzema encouraged Valbuena, now 37, to pay a suspected group of blackmailers back in 2015 in order to keep the sexually explicit tape out of the public eye.

A lawyer for Benzema did not immediately answer a request for comment.

Benzema, who has played 92 times for his country and was recalled to the France squad for this year's European Championship, scored in Real's 5-0 Champions League group-stage win over Shakhtar Donetsk in Kiev on Tuesday.

Benzema and Valbuena lost their places in the national team in the wake of the scandal, dubbed the "sex tape affair".

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