FrenchReal Madrid striker Karim Benzema was placed under formal judicial investigation on Thursday in connection with an alleged attempt to blackmail fellow-France soccer international Mathieu Valbuena with the use of a sex video.
Real Madrid player put under formal inquiry over French sex tape
A statement from the Versailles prosecutor said the alleged crimes for which he was being investigated could carry a prison sentence of at least five years.
His lawyer, Sylvain Cormier, told reporters after a hearing that Benzema was innocent and took no part in any blackmail or attempted blackmail.
The prosecutor's move, which in France's justice system does not confirm any wrongdoing but does mean investigators have serious grounds for pursuing the matter with him, exposes Benzema to a lengthy period of doubt ahead of a European nations soccer contest that France hosts next year.
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