France international footballer Mathieu Valbuena had his sex taped leaked late last year, and Karim Benzema was held responsible for the role he played in the alleged blackmail that followed though he claims to have no hand in it.
Image shows Mathieu Valbuena and Karim Benzema.
A criminal gang made threats to Valbuena, saying they’ll publish the sex video online if he doesn’t pay them off.
101GreatGoals wrote at the time: “The spoof video plays on ‘Petit Velo’s’ shortness; at 5’5, the Frenchman is one of the shortest players in European football, and he unfortunately gets mercilessly teased over it.
“Poor little Valbuena struggles to get onto the bed, and needs the aid of a rope and a pull from his partner.”
Latest reports confirm that one of the alleged blackmailers has insisted that Benzema is innocent of any wrongdoing.
Benzema was forced to miss this year’s European Championships following his suspension from international football earlier in 2015.
Yet Mustapha Zouaoui, one of the said perpetrators in the case, has maintained that the Madrid striker is innocent. He claims the Real Madrid striker has been made a scapegoat for a blackmail he knew nothing about.
Image shows a picture from the alleged leaked sex tape.
Mustapha says Benzema, 28, had honest intentions with his involvement in the leaked sex tape.
“He made a mistake, he just wanted to warn Valbuena about the existence of a sex tape,” he told L’Equipe.
“[Benzema] really felt bad [when I told him about the video]. He told me Valbuena was very fragile and that he could kill himself. Even he didn’t want to see it.
“It was there [acting as a mediator] when Benzema made the mistake.
“Valbuena asked [Benzema], ‘did you see tattoos’, and Benzema replied, ‘you think I’m kidding? A guy came up to me, told me about the video and gave details about what you did. Frankly, it’s horrible’.
“The police treated it as a declaration of a criminal, when Karim wanted to help Valbuena.
“Benzema is very angry with me, but I didn’t put him in this on purpose. I didn’t know [the authorities] had our wires tapped.”
Image shows Mathieu Valbuena and Karim Benzema.
Early December last year, the two men were left out of Didier Deschamps’ squad for that week’s international match against Germany and England, after it was made public that both have a sex tape lawsuit pending in court.
Real Madrid star Benzema was arrested and placed under formal criminal investigation for the alleged blackmail plot. He was accused of attempting to extort money from Valbuena over a leaked sex tape.
Latest reports say the Madrid star faces up to 5 years in prison if found guilty in the case.
How Benzema Got Entangled In The Leaked Sex Tape Scandal:
Karim Zenati is Benzema’s childhood friend who has also been accused of conniving with Jibril Cisse [former Liverpool and France striker] in the alleged sex tape.
Cisse was arrested and detained for questioning over the leaked video. He was released shortly afterwards, without having to appear in court.
Image: Jibril Cisse and Valbuena were teammates at Marseille in 2008.
Police believed Zenati was truly contacted by a group of three blackmailers who claimed to have the alleged sex tape. This was how the information got to Benzema who then tried to make things better.
The Madrid striker’s face-to-face discussion with Valbuena was recorded, without his knowledge. He was also recorded by police speaking to Zenati [his childhood friend] about their conversation on October 5.
Extracts from phone conversation between Benzema and Zenati
Recorded by French police on October 5. Source: Europe 1 and L’Equipe
Karim Benzema: I think that he is not taking us seriously.
Karim Zenati: What did you say to him?
KB: At the start, he thought it was a joke. I said: ‘You have to go and see this guy. He is going to come. He is going to speak to you. But I give you my word that there is not another copy.
Afterwards we talked, we talked. (Valbuena asked:) ‘In the video, you see my tattoos?’ You see everything, fatso. I said to him: I am serious, honestly, I have seen it.
(Valbuena asked:) ‘But they want what?’ I said to him: I don’t know what they want. He said: He wants money.
In any case, they want to make a buzz. (Valbuena said:) It would not be the same buzz if it were a video of you.
KZ: He is right.
KB: But brother, brother. It is true it is not going to make the same buzz as if it were me but, brother, but you are stopping his career. If he goes outside, he going to get tomatoes thrown at him.
I told him, it is not a question of buzz but a question of pride.
‘If you want the video to be destroyed, my friend will come and see you in Lyon. You see him directly and you speak with him. Don’t send anyone else.
‘You can do whatever you want. Ok, if you don’t want to pay, it’s your life but I have warned you.’
KZ: It is good, brother. You have done really well. When he goes to sleep, he is going to know you have told the truth.
KB: But, no, but the colour all drained from his face.
He said to me: You what the first thing he said, it is Cisse. He said to him: Yes but Cisse had lived through a nightmare like that.
KB: I said to him: ‘He (Cisse) did what?’ He said to me: ‘He paid’. I said to him: ‘And the video, did it get out or no?’ He said no. I said to him: ‘Me, when I speak to you I give you my word that the video will not get out. Now, you do what you want.
Me, I have come to see you because when I saw this video, I said to myself, I cannot laugh with you in the dressing room and not tell you.’
He said yes but they want to release the video when, for the Euros? I said to him that me, if I had a video like that, I would not ask you for money, I would sell it to journalists. You see, I said that to him.
KB: He said: ‘Thanks a lot and everything, let me have a day or two and I will tell you.’ He is going to call me.