Karim Benzema, Real Madrid star, convicted in sex tape scandal
- The Versailles court decision is unlikely to affect Benzema’s immediate sporting future
- Benzema didn’t attend the trial in Versailles last month
- The four other defendants were also found guilty
Star striker for Real Madrid, Karim Benzema was found guilty on Wednesday by a French court on charges that he was part of an attempt to blackmail a fellow player in a case involving a sex tape, a scandal that saw Benzema excluded from France's national soccer team for more than five years.
The 33-year-old star striker was given a one-year suspended prison sentence and a fine of 75,000 euros, or about $84,000.
The Versailles court decision is unlikely to affect Benzema’s immediate sporting future. The forward is regarded as one of the favorites to win the Ballon d’Or award on Nov. 29 in Paris following an impressive season with Madrid. French federation president Noel Le Great has already said Benzema would be allowed to keep playing with France even if found guilty.
Benzema's lawyers said he will appeal.
Benzema, who denied wrongdoing, didn’t attend the trial in Versailles last month and was absent for the verdict. The four other defendants were also found guilty and did not appear at the court Wednesday.