Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Benzema: Victim of 'persecution' in sex-tape case

03 December 2015, 06:39

Paris - Karim Benzema claimed Wednesday that he was a victim of "persecution" in the sex-tape blackmail case which has rocked French football.

"It is persecution," the Real Madrid star told French broadcaster TF1.

"They are accusing me, they are dragging my name through the mud as if I was a criminal. These are horrible things."

Benzema, 27, has been charged with complicity to blackmail and conspiring to commit a criminal act for his alleged participation in a blackmail case involving international teammate Mathieu Valbuena over a sex-tape.

The charges carry a maximum five years prison sentence.

Earlier, Benzema said his go-between role in the case had been misunderstood.

"I spoke with the heart with Mathieu Valbuena. When I heard about blackmail, that we demanded money, it makes me mad - I don't need money," Benzema added in his TV interview, his first public statement on the scandal.

"I do not know the blackmailers."

The blackmail case began in June, when Valbuena lodged a complaint with police after being telephoned by a man who said he had the sex tape.

Also read: Benzema claims 'misunderstanding' in sextape blackmail case

Four men, including a friend of Benzema, Karim Zenati, were charged.

Benzema is alleged to have approached Valbuena about the images at a France national training camp on October 5.

The former Lyon star says he had no need of money nor did Zenati, as he was employed in one of Benzema's companies.

A police telephone tap however on Benzema and his calls to Zenati cast doubts on their attitude.

"I'm mad with myself for having talked that way on the phone, we went too far," Benzema said of comments that appeared to mock Valbuena.

On the wire tap, Benzema added: "I am sorry I made a joke with my friend. I apologise to him (Valbuena) and his family."

The scandal is a serious distraction to France before they host Euro 2016 -- Benzema is forbidden to have any contact with Valbuena, 31, and neither was called up for France's recent friendlies against Germany and England.

In sporting terms Benzema is seen as France's top striker, but Les Bleus have a wealth of other attacking options and a record of leaving trouble-makers out of squads for international tournaments.

On Tuesday, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls suggested only players with exemplary records should represent France at Euro 2016.



Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...