France and Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema was arrested Wednesday amid accusations concerning his involvement in a sex tape blackmail effort.
While in police custody, Benzema is being questioned and investigated for his role in a blackmail attempt targeting France teammate Mathieu Valbuena. Benzema is reportedly suspected of plotting to extort money from Valbuena in exchange for withholding the tape from the public.
According to reports, Benzema mentioned the tape to Valbuena during a team meeting in October. Police are now attempting to conclude if the conversation between the two players involved payment regarding the tape.
Former French forward Djibril Cisse was taken into custody and detained last month in the midst of similar blackmail suspicions, but was released without charge. Cisse has since retired from soccer.
The police investigation in the alleged blackmail case was originally opened in July. If he is found guilty of extortion, he will face a maximum five-year prison sentence.
Last year, Benzema, 27, was cleared of all charges in an underage sex case.
- Kayla Lombardo