The Real Madrid striker has spoken out for the first time since he was accused of involvement in the case, with the France international protesting his innocence.Karim Benzema has spoken to the press for the first time since being accused of helping to blackmail France team-mate Mathieu Valbuena with a sex tape.
The Real Madrid star has proclaimed his innocence, insisting that his only intention during the scandal has been to help Valbuena end the nightmare.
“Sincerely, I am not guilty,” Benzema told TF1. “I’m being dragged through the mud and treated like a criminal.
“What happened? It is simple. I have heard there is a video of him [Valbuena] and I have told him. I told him I could help him because I have a friend in Lyon who can manage these problems.
“We never spoke about money. I earn a good living and when I help someone, I don’t expect anything back.
“Valbuena thanked me the day I told him. What I do regret though, is this conversation with [my friend Karim] Zenati. I regret it because we laughed. I think it was understandable. It was spontaneous. I would have liked to be able to get in contact with Valbuena to apologise.
“I don’t know the people that blackmailed him. The only one I know is Karim Zenati. He had his past and went to prison, but he started a new life since.
“I don’t even understand why I have been in custody and why they dirtied my name when I was the one who wanted to be heard. I don’t understand.”