Real Madrid and France international striker Karim Benzema has denied he was part of a blackmail plot concerning a sex-tape showing his France team-mate Mathieu Valbuena.
The 27-year old is under formal investigation and faces up to five years in jail if found guilty.
In a TV interview with TF1, Benzema said: ‘‘I’m not guilty. And I’m not playing for the cameras. I’m not playing a game. I’m here to be sincere as I usually am. I hope everything will turn out well in the end. That we will all be fine: Mathieu, me, my friend. That we will all return to the French team to win the Euros.”
The Madrid player added it had all been a ‘‘huge misunderstanding’‘ and that ‘‘there’s nothing to any of it, no blackmail or demands for money:’‘
Valbuena, meanwhile, has claimed that Benzema ‘indirectly’ told him he would have to pay a ransom to prevent the footage being released publicly.