Photo credit: Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty

Hey, remember that time Real Madrid star, France international, and one-time Rihanna canoodler Karim Benzema was arrested and charged with aiding a blackmail plot against fellow France international Mathieu Valbuena in relation to a possibly made-up sex tape? You do? Yeah, it’s kind of a hard one to forget.

It’s been a long time since we’ve had any update on the situation, though it remains an open case in the French legal system. The fact that it is still out there, though, and that the specter of the legal proceedings and Benzema’s alleged involvement in the blackmail continues to keep the striker out of the French national team set-up, remains a source of frustration for Benzema. It’s no surprise, then, when in an interview with French sports magazine L’Équipe that was released today, Benzema took quite a few shots at Valbuena, calling into question the veracity of his claims. Soccer site Get French Football News has translated the relevant excerpts:

“Everything came from [Valbuena’s] story. We do not know the truth. On top of that, when I hear it said now that he is prepared to play with me again, that he is not annoyed at me… There is really something wrong with him!

“At the beginning, I was a thug, I threatened him, I scared him, he invented it all.. And now he says he wants to play with me again. He says that he would not have made a legal complaint had he known that I would end up in the middle of all this… Has he lost the plot or what?

“For more than a year and a half I am his enemy, a bad example, a tramp, who needs to be sanctioned, with people dirtying my name. For nearly two years I have been barred from seeing my best friend (Karim Zenati), otherwise we go to prison, and he, he is just relaxing. He needs to stop this rubbish.”

Let’s not forget that this isn’t merely a he-said, he-said deal. The evidence trail police picked up on directly led them to Benzema, the most damning bits being the phone transcripts between Benzema and one of the blackmailers who is also his best friend. Benzema’s explanation of his own version of events doesn’t hold much water either. And Benzema has not been cleared legally. So no matter what Valbuena says or does, this ordeal is not going away any time soon.

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And Valbuena does not appear ready to heed Benzema’s demands. He tweeted the following earlier today after L’Équipe published the interview with Benzema:

Translation: “Slander is the weapon of the powerless ! This is distressing !!! The truth is justice which will restore it.”

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