French footballer Mathieu Valbuena is said to be disappointed by the "indefensible" behaviour of fellow French international Karim Benzema in the first comments he has made about an alleged sex tape blackmail attempt involving the two players.
Benzema is currently under formal investigation by French authorities for conspiracy to blackmail and participating in a criminal group over allegations he was part of a plot to extort money from the Lyon midfielder. The Real Madrid star allegedly acted as middleman between Valbuena and a childhood friend who wanted to cash in from a lewd video featuring the 31-year-old.
In an interview with Le Monde newspaper, Valbuena said the 27-year-old forward "indirectly" tried to persuade him to strike a deal with the blackmailers to make sure the clip was not made public.
"The way he talked was not aggressive, he did not talk about money specifically and directly, but when you insist on me to meet someone... hmmmm. I have never met anyone who is going to destroy a video for free just because they love me! You shouldn't treat people like idiots," he said.
Valbuena said he was left disappointed after reading leaked transcripts of a phone conversation between Benzema and his friend Karim Zenati, who is also under investigation.
"Obviously I'm disappointed, more than disappointed. His words showed a lack of respect. I respect the entire world, but there I felt [people] were taking me for a fool," he said. "I can't defend the indefensible. I wouldn't do that, even to my worst enemy".
Benzema faces up to five years in jail if found guilty of the charges, which his lawyer, denies on behalf of his client. The Champions League winner is however understood to have admitted contacting Valbuena on behalf of a friend.