Football: Valbuena appears in court over sex-tape blackmail attempt

PARIS (AFP) - Mathieu Valbuena, the victim of a sex tape blackmail attempt over which fellow France international Karim Benzema has been charged, gave evidence before a judge investigating the affair for more than two hours on Friday.

"He was very calm and answered all questions honestly," Valbuena's lawyer Didier Domat said outside the court.

The lawyer refused to discuss what had been said during the hearing because of the "confidentiality of the investigation".

However, Domat added that Valbuena "had no wish to damage the integrity of the French national team or of French football" and had only acted "within his right as a citizen" in pressing charges.

Valbuena is set to feature for Lyon in Friday night's Ligue 1 game away to Nice with sports daily L'Equipe reporting that the 31-year-old would travel to the Cote d'Azur in a private jet laid on by the club.

He was expected to be questioned by judge Nathalie Boutard about a conversation he had with Benzema on Oct 5 at the France national training centre in Clairefontaine, outside Paris.

The inquiry will seek to determine whether the 27-year-old Real Madrid striker Benzema acted as a friend or a blackmailer during the conversation.