Real Madrid superstar Karim Benzema will have to undergo formal investigation in France for allegedly blackmailing fellow France international Mathieu Valbuena over a sex tape. The Frenchman might have to spend as many as five years in prison, if found guilty.

Karim Benzema was arrested early on Wednesday for reportedly blackmailing Valbuena over sex tape and indulging in a criminal group. Benzema arrived at a police station in Paris and stayed there all night to attend the hearing on Thursday morning. A statement from the Versailles prosecutor said the alleged crimes for which he was being investigated, could carry a prison sentence of at least five years.

Lawyer claims Benzema is innocent

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His lawyer, Sylvain Cormier claims Benzema is innocent, and that the 27-year old played no part in the scandal.

“He played no part, I repeat no part, in any blackmail or attempted blackmail,” said Cormier, as reported by skysports.

Predicament for Benzema

Valbuena currently plays for Lyon and has played with Benzema for the French national team.

The prosecutors have put Benzema in a predicament, as he has been heavily exposed ahead of Euro 2016 in France next summer.

The investigators have questioned quite a few people related to the scandal, including Djibril Cisse who is apparently involved in the alleged crime.