'Exhausted' Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema drops sex tape case appeal
- Karim Benzema has dropped an appeal against the one-year suspended jail sentence handed to him in the 'sex tape' case
- The striker was found guilty of conspiring to blackmail Mathieu Valbuena
- The withdrawal makes definitive the November 2021 verdict against Benzema
Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has dropped an appeal against the one-year suspended jail sentence handed to him for complicity in conspiring to blackmail former France teammate Mathieu Valbuena with a sex tape.
The Frenchman's lawyer Hugues Vigier broke the news on Saturday, telling French sports daily L'Equipe that the 34-year-old striker had grown "exhausted" with the legal process.
"This withdrawal endorses a ruling of condemnation and apparently of guilt. It is a judicial truth. But it is not reality," the Frenchman's lawyer added, giving his two cents on his client's decision.
Notably withdrawal of the appeal makes definitive a November 2021 verdict against the striker, wherein Benzema was slapped with a one-year suspended jail sentence and a fine of €75,000 because the court found that he had "implicated himself personally, through subterfuge and lies, to convince his team-mate to submit to the blackmail."
The court in Versailles had also observed during the ruling that Benzema had shown "no kindness towards Valbuena," and had even accused the Frenchman of taking pleasure in his teammate's angst and suffering.
The case against Benzema dates back to 2015 when news about the scandal shocked the footballing world and resulted in a five and a half year ban for the 34-year-old from the French national team.
During that time, France went on to win the 2018 FIFA World Cup, a trophy Benzema has yet to get his hands on.
Having missed the last one, however, and coming off the back of an extraordinary season wherein he scored 45 goals across all competitions, the Frenchman will be extra eager to make an impact on the upcoming World Cup in Qatar in November this year.