The “sextape” affair is coming to an end, six and a half years after the facts: Karim Benzema on Saturday gave up his appeal in the trial against his former teammate Mathieu Valbuena, ratifying his sentence to one year in prison. suspended prison sentence. Sentenced in November 2021 to this suspended prison sentence and a fine of 75,000 at first instance by the Versailles Criminal Court for complicity in attempted blackmail, the Real Madrid superstar finally withdrew his appeal, as the said his lawyer, Me Hugues Vigier on the night of Friday to Saturday, confirming information from the Actu78 site.
The withdrawal order will be notified to the parties on Tuesday by the Versailles Court of Appeal. Me Vigier had previously assured the daily L’Équipe that “this withdrawal confirms a decision of conviction and apparently guilt”. “It’s a forensic truth. But that’s not the reality, “commented the new lawyer seized by the player since last March, with the sports daily.
The 34-year-old footballer was the only one of the five convicted of attempted blackmail or complicity to have appealed his criminal sanction. He was to be retried on June 30 and July 1 before the 9th chamber of the Versailles Court of Appeal, and his former lawyer, Me Antoine Vey, had specified that Benzema would come to explain himself in person during this new trial. In its judgment, the Versailles Criminal Court found that the footballer had “personally involved himself, at the cost of subterfuge and lies, to convince his teammate to submit to blackmail”. The striker showed “no benevolence towards Mathieu Valbuena, quite the contrary”, and acted “with a certain excitement, even a certain jubilation”, added its president.
This renunciation puts an end to one of the most publicized extra-sporting cases of recent years. Six and a half years have passed since the events, which occurred in the middle of a French team rally at the Clairefontaine training center (Yvelines) in October 2015, when Benzema exchanged with his teammate about a compromising video. The case will have stretched until the trial held in Versailles in the fall of 2021, in the presence of Valbuena but in the absence of Benzema, restrained by his busy schedule at Real Madrid according to his advice.
The impact of this case will have stopped the rise of the French international, who remained away from the Blues for more than five years before making a surprise return to Didier Deschamps’ team before the Euro in 2021. Benzema, who has always proclaimed her innocence in this affair, is now one of the indisputable executives of the tricolor selection which challenges her title of world champion in November in Qatar.
On several occasions, Benzema had expressed his wish to see this judicial page turned as soon as possible. When the dates of his trial for “complicity in attempted blackmail” were announced, the player reacted on Instagram: “Here’s finally vamonos (let’s go), may the masquerade end forever. “The calendar is such that the announcement of this renunciation comes just hours after a match of the Blues, lost 2-1 against Denmark in Saint-Denis, with a goal from… Benzema, recent winner of his 5th Champions League and great favorite for the Ballon d’Or, the highest individual award in football.