VERSAILLES, France (AP) — France and Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema was given a 1-year suspended jail sentence and 75,000 euros ($84,000) fine Wednesday in a sex tape case that rocked French soccer.
Benzema was found guilty of being involved in an attempt in 2015 to blackmail France teammate Mathieu Valbuena.
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.