Real Madrid and France soccer superstar Karim Benzema was questioned by police in Versailles, west of Paris, Wednesday in connection with an alleged blackmail over a sex tape involving his teammate Mathieu Valbuena.
Wearing a hoodie to cover his face, Benzema arrived at the police station for questioning over his possible connection with the blackmail attempt, which a French news agency has described as a video recorded on a cellular phone which came into the possession of a group of extortionists.
Three suspects have been held by authorities since last month.
Investigators are trying to determine the degree of the 27-year-old’s involvement in the months-long attempt to milk money from his fellow French national team player Valbuena after a sex tape fell into the hands of suspected blackmailers.
According to a source, Benzema had mentioned the said video to Valbuena while training with the French team outside of Paris in early October, before the nationals squared off against Armenia and Denmark.
According to Benzema’s layer, Sylvain Cormier, the Real Madrid forward would spend the night at the station. He was also quoted by members of the media that the striker, who was linked to Hollywood A-lister Rihanna in the past, “would like to put an end to the controversy sparked by this affair in which he has played no part, as soon as possible.”
The extortion case was opened last July.
This was not the first time Benzema had been in the center of a legal battle.
Five years ago, preliminary charges were filed against Benzema and Franck Ribery for soliciting the services of an underage prostitute. They were both brought in for questioning as part of an investigation into a suspected network of prostitutes that operated in Paris’ Champs-Elysees.
The said case lasted for three years before Benzema and Ribery were acquitted of all charges.
Benzema is one of Real Madrid’s key players along with Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale. He started his career in his home town of Lyon, the club Valbuena joined over the summer.
If found guilty, he could face jail time of up to five years.