French court convict football star Benzema of attempted blackmail

Football - World Cup - UEFA Qualifiers - Group D - France v Kazakhstan - Parc des Princes, Paris, France - November 13, 2021 France's Karim Benzema during the warm up before the match REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
A Court in Versailles on Wednesday found France and Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema guilty of complicity in the attempted blackmail of former international team mate Mathieu Valbuena over a sex tape and sentenced him to a one-year suspended jail term.

He was also fined 75,000 euros ($84,170).

Benzema, who had denied any wrongdoing, was not in court. He is due to play for the Spanish club against Moldovan side Sheriff Tiraspol later in the day.

Prosecutors had argued that Benzema had encouraged Valbuena to pay a suspected group of blackmailers in order to keep the sexually explicit tape out of the public eye. ($1 = 0.8910 euros)