Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has been charged over his alleged involvement in a sex tape blackmail plot against international team mate Matieu Valbuena.
The pair were expected to be named in Didier Deschamp’s team for the upcoming round of friendlies, but having been charged, Benzema is not allowed to have any contact his the Lyon man.
The matter relates to an investigation opened in July over claims Valbuena was victim of an extortion attempt stemming from the discovery of a sex tape.
Last month, former France forward Djibril Cisse was taken into custody and released after questioning. On Wednesday, Benzema was arrested in France and was held by police. According to new agency AFP, the Los Blancos striker emerged from custody in Versailles at 9am on Thursday morning.
A public prosecutor has since released a statement on the situation. They said: “Karim Benzema was taken to the courthouse to be brought before a judge who will decide later on in the procedure. The judge will decide at the end of this presentation the status of Karim Benzema in the procedure, particularly his possible indictment or his placement under the status of assisted witness.”
Involvement in blackmail can carry a prison sentence of up to five years in France.