Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has been reportedly placed under formal investigation in connection with a sex tape blackmail plot involving another French player.
The French striker who faces charge in Valbuena sex tape case in France appeared before a judge in Versailles after being held in police custody overnight. A source told AFP news agency that he had admitted involvement.
Police are investigating what part he played in an alleged attempt to extort money from fellow French international Mathieu Valbuena.
The 27-year-old star told investigators he had approached Mr Valbuena about the tape on behalf of “a childhood friend,” the report said.
According to French media, Mr Benzema mentioned the tape to the midfielder during a national team training session at Clairefontaine in early October, ahead of matches against Armenia and Denmark.
It was unclear whether he was offering friendly advice or trying to press his team-mate to pay the blackmailers.
The prosecutor’s office has confirmed that Mr Benzema is now under formal investigation for complicity in attempted blackmail and participation in a criminal conspiracy.
Sources have told French media that a relative of Mr Benzema’s was contacted by the blackmailers, in an attempt to involve him in the scheme. There has been no confirmation from police.
Three other men have been placed under formal investigation after Mr Valbuena was contacted by someone claiming to have the video.