The lawyer for Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema insists his client asserted his innocence in the Mathieu Valbuena blackmail case.
Sylvain Cormier is quoted by Marca as saying that Benzema, who was arrested on Wednesday and charged on Thursday, told a judge he wasn’t involved in the alleged extortion plot.
“[Benzema] proclaims his innocence. He is a friend of Valbuena, and has suffered the same thing,” Cormier reportedly said.
“He hasn’t been part of any attempt at blackmail. He will demonstrate his good faith and hopes to do so as soon as possible.”
It’s alleged that three men, who have also been charged, obtained footage of a sex tape made by Valbuena and demanded a sum of money in exchange for not releasing it.
Benzema’s alleged involvement centres around a ‘childhood friend’ who was approached by the three to contact Benzema on their behalf.
It’s alleged Benzema did so when the France squad of which he and Valbuena were part were called together on October 5.
Benzema appeared in a Versailles court on Thursday and it was decided there was reason to charge the 27-year-old.
As lawyer Cormier noted Benzema was in 2011 the victim of a blackmail attempt over intimate photographs that it was threatened would be released online if he didn’t hand over €900,000.
Benzema went to the authorities and the potential blackmailer was arrested in a sting operation and later convicted.