BREAKING: Benzema found guilty in sex tape blackmail

Real Madrid forward, Karim Benzema, has been found guilty of conspiring to blackmail a fellow French footballer with a sex tape.

A judge handed Benzema, 33, a one-year suspended jail term and ordered him to pay a €75,000 fine.

The France striker was one of five people put on trial last month over an attempt to extort fellow France international Mathieu Valbuena.

Benzema was not present in court in Versailles for the verdict, nor was Valbuena who plays for Olympiakos in Greece.

The scandal – which dates back to June 2015 – has stunned the football community in France and both players lost their national team places.

During a French camp, Benzema put pressure on Valbuena to pay off the blackmailers, whom he had conspired with to act as an intermediary, prosecutors said.

Benzema has always denied the allegations and insisted he was only trying to help Valbuena get rid of the compromising video.

The former Lyon striker has since returned to the France team and is expected to start for Real Madrid on Wednesday night when they play FC Sheriff Tiraspol in the Champions League.

Four of Benzema’s co-defendants in the trial were also found guilty on Wednesday.

Benzema’s lawyers said they would appeal his conviction.

“The reaction is ultimately an angry one to this judgment which is perfectly contradictory,” his lawyer, Sylvain Cormier, told reporters outside court.

But when delivering the verdict, the judge said Benzema was “personally involved” in the scheme to extort money.

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