Soccer star Karim Benzema’s appeal process against his verdict in the sex video affair should have taken place at the end of June. The player now renounces this.

France’s star striker Karim Benzema has declined to appeal his conviction in the sex tape affair. However, this is not an admission of guilt, as his lawyer Hugues Vigier told the French newspaper “L’Equipe”. The 34-year-old continues to deny all allegations. “My client is exhausted by this process,” his attorney said.

Karim Benzema charged with aiding and abetting an attempted extortion

The sex tape affair dates back to 2015. At the time, France midfielder Mathieu Valbuena received a phone call threatening to release an intimate video showing him with his wife. A few days later, Benzema is said to have spoken to Valbuena about the sex tape. He is said to have tried to persuade his colleague to talk to a middleman. Money wasn’t discussed, but it was clear, Valbuena said.

According to “L’Équipe”, a debt of 25,000 euros should have been settled with the blackmail attempt. At the end of October 2021, Benzema and four other men had to answer in court. They were accused of attempted blackmail and, in one case, abuse of trust, while Benzema was charged with aiding and abetting an attempted blackmail.

‘Karim Benzema will always maintain his innocence’

The judge found the football professional guilty and sentenced him to one year’s probation and a fine of 75,000 euros. The sentence was even higher than requested by the public prosecutor. As the “Augsburger Allgemeine” reported at the time, Benzema is said not to have acted out of financial interest, but to do a friendly service to a childhood friend who was also involved in the blackmail attempt. The remaining defendants were sentenced to terms ranging from 18 months probation to two and a half years in prison.

As a result of the scandal, both players were banned from the national team. Benzema had not been called up for the French national team for almost six years before national coach Didier Deschamps brought him back last May. Valbuena never returned.

Benzema was the only person to appeal his verdict. The procedure, which he is now waiving, was scheduled for June 30th. The Champions League winner from Spanish soccer champions Real Madrid accepts his suspended sentence and fine. “The conviction is a legal truth, but it is not the reality. Karim Benzema will always protest his innocence in this matter,” emphasizes his defender.

Sources: “Augsburger Allgemeine”, German Press Agency, “Sportschau”