SHARE
COPY LINK

SPORT

Football star Benzema’s cash seized by France in sex tape case

Bailiffs have seized €230,000 from France and Real Madrid star, Karim Benzema, according to a source familiar with the case. Benzema was sentenced last year for complicity in a bid to blackmail a former team-mate with a sex tape.

French striker Karim Benzema was convicted for complicity to blackmail a former team-mate last year.
French striker Karim Benzema was convicted for complicity to blackmail a former team-mate last year. Bailiffs have reportedly seized more than €230,000 in cash from the player. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)

French bailiffs have seized €230,000 from Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema over his conviction last year for complicity in a bid to blackmail former France team-mate Mathieu Valbuena with a sex tape, a source familiar with the case said Thursday.

A court ordered Benzema in November to pay a fine, damages and legal costs for pressuring Valbuena to pay off his blackmailers, as well as handing him a one-year suspended jail sentence.

Benzema “implicated himself personally, through subterfuge and lies, to convince his team-mate to submit to the blackmail”, the court in Paris suburb Versailles said at the time.

Benzema has appealed the ruling, which came in the same year he made a stunning return to France’s national squad after being dropped in 2015 over the blackmail allegations.

The 34-year-old has scored nine times for France since being recalled by manager Didier Deschamps for the Euro 2020 finals — delayed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic — making him the fifth-highest scorer in the history of Les Bleus.

Benzema’s performances have helped rehabilitate him in the eyes of many French fans and coach Didier Deschamps, and the seizure of his cash comes less than two weeks after he won France Football magazine’s player of the year award.

Valbuena’s lawyers turned to the bailiffs to recover the cash from Benzema after he did not pay up voluntarily.

A source close to the case said the Real Madrid star’s account had been partially frozen since Friday.

Benzema’s own lawyers want the money held in escrow while his appeal is heard.

“This is the logical consequence of the decision for immediate payment. We asked for an amicable agreement on payment, which was never reached,” said Valbuena’s lawyer Paul-Albert Iweins.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

SPORT

Mbappe: ‘Macron gave me good advice’ on PSG deal

Kylian Mbappe made the startling revelation that he had talked over his potential transfer to Real Madrid with Emmanuel Macron, saying he appreciated the "good advice" of the French president, who wanted the Paris Saint-Germain star to stay in France.

Mbappe: 'Macron gave me good advice' on PSG deal

World Cup winner Mbappe had for months seemed certain to sign for Real Madrid before being persuaded to sign a new three year deal at PSG, the club he joined in 2017.

“We talked quite a bit,” Mbappe said of his exchanges with Macron. “You can say that it was good advice.

“He wanted me to stay, that’s part of the negotiations.”

Mbappe said that Macron was one of a number of different people to whom he had talked.

“It’s then that you see that football has changed and has an important place in society. It’s important to also know how to stay in one’s place despite the importance that can be given to me in the country.”

With that in mind, Mbappe also revealed that PSG would not block him from playing in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The Paris-born Mbappe was raised in the northeastern Parisian surburb of Bondy, part of the Seine-Saint-Denis department that is home to not only the Stade de France, but also several other Olympic sites including the Olympic Village.

There is no doubt that the potential participation of a star-quality, home-grown talent in the Summer Games would be a massive boost for organisers.

“First of all I have to be picked,” Mbappe said of the possibility of taking part in Paris 2024. “We talked about it with the club.

“The club are not against it, they are for it. There weren’t any problems with regard to that in negotiations.”

No say on transfers

There has been speculation that as well as a gigantic, undisclosed financial package, PSG’s Qatari owners had persuaded Mbappe to remain with his hometown club by agreeing to give the 23-year-old forward some say in which players to sign for next season.

Mbappe however denied any such agreement had been made.

“I remain a footballer, who is part of a team, and I will not go beyond this role. I won’t go beyond my role as a player,” he said at a press conference seated alongside PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi.

“Everyone knows that last year, I wanted to leave and I was convinced that it was the best choice, but the years go by and things change.

“I am French and there is this sentimental side to leaving my country which would have been difficult.

“The project has changed, my club wants to build a new sporting ambition and I think there are other great stories to write here, that’s what matters.”

Hours after Mbappe announced on Saturday that he was staying at the club came the news that PSG’s powerful sporting director Leonardo — heavily criticised by supporters — had been sacked.

Al-Khelaifi said Mbappe’s decision to stay at the French champions sent “a very strong sign”.

“We are keeping the best player in the world,” the president said.

“This is a great day for Paris Saint-Germain, for our supporters in France and in the whole world — Kylian is staying at PSG for the next three seasons and that is important for us and for Ligue 1.”

SHOW COMMENTS