• France's news in English

'Benzema indirectly told me to pay for sex-tape'

AFP · 27 Nov 2015, 14:22

Published: 27 Nov 2015 14:22 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

In his first public comments on the scandal that has torn apart the French national team, Valbuena told Le Monde newspaper he was "very, very, very disappointed" at the actions of Benzema.

Twenty-seven year-old Real Madrid star Benzema has been charged with complicity to blackmail Valbuena over the tape.

Le Monde asked Valbuena whether Benzema had just urged him to meet the blackmailers. "Incite, that means 'you will have to pay' indirectly," Valbuena replied.

"He was not aggressive in his manner of talking, he did not talk about money concretely, directly. But when someone insists that I meet someone ...hmmmm.

"I have never met anyone who is going to destroy a video for free just because they love me! You shouldn't treat people like idiots," Valbuena said.

The scandal has rocked France's campaign for the European Championships which the country will host next year. Benzema has been banned from meeting Valbuena and neither were chosen for recent France games.

Four men, including a friend of Benzema, Karim Zenati, have been charged and detained over the blackmail using the stolen sex-tape.

Benzema is alleged to have approached Valbuena about the images at a France national training camp on October 5th. The 31-year-old Lyon midfielder said it had been hard to accept the implication of a France teammate in the scandal.

"I am very very very disappointed and I can only note that my relations with Karim were not as sincere as he makes out," he added.

According to investigation sources, Benzema has admitted to police that he was to act as an "intermediary" between Valbuena and one of the blackmailers who was a childhood friend of Benzema.

"When I went to the first (police) questioning I had absolutely no idea that Karim Benzema was involved," he told Le Monde.

'I have a daughter'

Valbuena said Benzema had asked him to deny Benzema's involvement in a telephone call when Lyon were in Russia preparing to play against Zenit St Petersburg in the Champions League on October 20th.

"He said to me 'Mat my name has come out, what is all this chaos. I can't be in all these affairs.'

"I said to him: 'Listen Karim, its nothing special, you did nothing, there's no worry'. But I told myself it's strange that he wanted me to meet this person."

According to Valbuena, Benzema then went on to ask him to deny his involvement. "This is hot, it is going to become mad, I have a daughter and everything," he quoted Benzema as saying.

Valbuena had earlier made a statement saying that another former teammate, Djibril Cisse, was not involved in the affair even though he had also been questioned by police about the sex-tape.

"At that moment, I knew that the big difference between Djibril and Karim was that Djibril had never asked me to meet someone. But Karim, he did," said Valbuena.

The blackmail case began in June, when Valbuena lodged a complaint with police after being telephoned by a man who said he had the sex tape.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
France to clear 'Jungle' migrant camp Monday
Migrants will be bussed from the camp to some 300 temporary accommodation centres around France. Photo: Denis Charlet/ AFP

The "Jungle" migrant camp on France's northern coast will be cleared of its residents on Monday before being demolished, authorities said Friday.

How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available