French footballer Karim Benzema was held for questioning yesterday in connection to blackmail over a sextape featuring teammate Mathieu Valbuena, a source close to the probe told AFP.
The Real Madrid and France star arrived with a hood pulled over his head at the police station in Versailles, near Paris, early yesterday and was placed in detention, the local prosecutor confirmed. Investigators are trying determine the extent of Benzema's involvement in a months-long attempt to extort money from fellow French international Valbuena after a sextape found its way into the hands of a group of blackmailers. According to the source, Benzema mentioned the intimate video to Valbuena when the French team met for training near Paris in early October, ahead of matches against Armenia and Denmark. One of Benzema's relatives was contacted by the suspected blackmailers with a view to involving the footballer in their scheme, the source added. Police are seeking to determine whether Benzema was just teasing Valbuena when he mentioned the tape, or trying to make him pay the group of suspected blackmailers, who were charged and put in detention last month.