7th Jan, 2021 @ 03:43 pm
Karim Benzema will stand trial for complicity in the Mathieu Valbuena blackmail case.
The latter turned to the French justice system to report an incident from 2015 where he was allegedly blackmailed over a sex tape.
Benzema was caught up in the case. As a result, on December 11, 2015, he was separated from the rest of the France squad and hasn’t been called up by Les Bleus since. “His adventure with the national team is over,” French federation president Noel Le Graet explained at the time.
In 2015, Benzema offered his version of events when he spoke to the justice department in Versailles. “I think this has been a big misunderstanding,” he said. “At first, I just wanted Mathieu to be aware of the issue and help him because they’d done something to me in the same way. He is someone who I played with for France and is a friend.”
Benzema stated that he hadn’t seen the supposed sex tape. He said that it was Karim Zenati, a childhood friend and intermediary to the blackmailers, who confirmed to him that it was a serious thing. That’s what he said he passed on to Valbuena.
“I passed on all that my friend Karim had told me, because he’s my best friend and I trust him,” Benzema explained.
The Real Madrid striker also had to explain the tone and vocabulary used to refer to Valbuena in a phone call with Zenati, which the justice department had a recording of.
“You can hear during the whole conversation that I’m joking and that I only wanted to help him, without any hidden intentions in my offer to help him,” the No.9 explained.
Benzema hasn’t forgiven Valbuena
One other issue that Benzema had to explain was his use of the term “tarlouze”, which would be “faggot” in English.
“Obviously I was pissed off, because I thought [Valbuena] had reported me to the police. In any case, I often use this term with my friends about anybody. For me and my generation, it’s not a derogatory word.”
Benzema has never forgiven Valbuena for getting him involved in the case. Some time later the now- Olympiacos player spoke about a reconciliation with the player in an interview. “I’d offer my hand if we see each other again,” he said.
“Keep your hand,” was Benzema’s response on social media.
When Les Bleus won the World Cup in 2018, Benzema congratulated the players on social media for their achievement. He has never been angry with the rest of the squad and has always wanted to make clear that his national team punishment was for other reasons and that he was never a player who created a bad dressing room atmosphere, as was alleged.