Karim Benzema and four men appear from Wednesday before the 7th correctional chamber of the judicial court of Versailles in the so-called Mathieu Valbuena sextape case.
The Real Madrid striker is suspected of helping his co-defendants pressure his former teammate to pay in exchange for not showing a video of his sexual antics.
This affair changed the course of the career of the two footballers.
After the opening of the investigation, Karim Benzema and Mathieu Valbuena are no longer called up to the France team by coach Didier Deschamps.
Benzema, who faces five years in prison and a 70,000 euros fine, made his surprise return among the Blues on the eve of Euro 2021.
A few days after the last match of the France team, Karim Benzema finds himself again under the light. This time, it is not the spotlight of the San Siro stadium in Milan, where the Blues striker scored an incredible goal against Spain on October 10. But that of the neon lights overlooking the seventh correctional chamber of the judicial court of Versailles (Yvelines) where the candidate for the Golden Ball is tried, alongside four other people, for three days from Wednesday, in the so-called case of " the sextape ”by Mathieu Valbuena. The 33-year-old Real Madrid player is accused of helping his co-defendants blackmail his former team-mate. He swears that he simply wanted to help the latter, that he nevertheless called "tarlouze" on the phone.
His friendly advice, Benzema gave them in the privacy of his room in Clairefontaine, on the occasion of a rally of the Blues, October 6, 2015. That evening, he calls Valbuena and announces to him that he is aware of this story that poisons the life of the former player of the Olympique de Marseille. For the past few months, Valbuena has been harassed over the phone by a man who claims to have a video of his sexual antics. He threatens to sell it to the British media so that it can be broadcast before Euro 2016. Karim Benzema is worried about his teammate, makes him understand that it is "hot for his family", and offers to introduce him to someone. one to "handle it". This is Karim Zenati, one of his childhood friends who became one of his employees. No copy of the video will be made,Benzema promises to his partner of the France team.
"He doesn't take us seriously"
Benzema reminds Valbuena that the same mishap had happened to another player, Djibril Cissé.
The latter, he emphasizes, had paid the sum requested by the blackmailers and the video had never been released.
But Valbuena doesn't care.
His famous "sextape", if it were broadcast, would only generate a little buzz.
Nothing very important, especially since his wife is already aware of his existence.
Immediately after this conversation, Benzema called Karim Zenati to warn him that his teammate was "not going to let go".
“He doesn't take us seriously,” he explains.
An "us" who, for the prosecution, signs the participation of the football star in this attempt at blackmail.
Over the following weeks, the police arrested Benzema, Zenati and three other men whom they suspected of being involved in the affair.
Their investigation revealed that it was a certain Axel Angot who was the first to obtain this video.
He came across it in July 2014, when Mathieu Valbuena gave him his mobile phone to transfer his data to a new device.
With his friend Mustapha Zouaoui, they have the idea of putting pressure on Valbuena so that he pays for his non-broadcast.
As Djibril Cissé, whom they had requested, refuses to put them in touch with their target, Zouaoui asks Youness Houass to send him threatening SMS.
But the case is not progressing as quickly as expected.
"It's as if it's me speaking…"
Mustapha Zouaoui then decides to dismiss Youness Houass and contacts Karim Zenati. He hopes his childhood friend can put pressure on Valbuena. This is their last chance to succeed in their blackmail. "Karim, what is he going to tell him?" Zouaoui asks one day on the phone. "Don't worry brother… it's as if it's me speaking, so don't worry there", Zenati answers him. On November 5, 2015, Karim Benzema was indicted, which earned him to be removed from the France team. A sidelining that will last more than five years, before he was recalled to everyone's surprise by Didier Deschamps for Euro 2021.
Returned for complicity in attempted blackmail, the former glory of Olympique Lyonnais faces five years in prison and a 70,000 euros fine.
Contacted, neither his lawyer, Me Sylvain Cormier, nor that of Mathieu Valbuena, Me Paul-Albert Iweinsn, responded to
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