France striker Karim Benzema, who has starred for Spanish titans Real Madrid since 2009, was reportedly detained by Versailles police Wednesday for an alleged role in a plot to blackmail a national teammate over a sex tape.
Detectives reportedly called the 27-year-old in for questioning this morning, with several reports claiming he was arrested for trying to extort French teammate Mathieu Valbuena over a sex tape recorded on a mobile phone. A police official told the Associated Press that Benzema was placed into custody after he was summoned to the police station.
Benzema’s attorney was also quoted as saying his client agreed to meet with police after a subpoena was presented.
Sylvain Cormier [Benzema's lawyer] : "Benzema presented himself to the police after a subpoena" [@soymadridista]?
— Real Madrid Info (@RMadridInfo) November 4, 2015
The AFP first reported Benzema’s detention, but prosecutors confirmed to The Guardian that Benzema was only held for questioning. Investigators also questioned and released former France and Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse last month. The investigation began in July, but no one has been charged with a crime.
According to Daily Mail, allegedly Valbuena, a midfielder for Lyon, was asked for money in exchange for the tape avoiding publication.
Benzema, who has been sidelined in recent weeks with a hamstring injury, came under police scrutiny after he reportedly mentioned the alleged tape’s existence to teammates before France met Armenia and Denmark in friendly action last month.
If the investigation leads to any charges, whomever is charged could face upwards of five years in prison.