It has been a bit of a legal circus for Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema, who found himself becoming the centre of attention in the "sex tape" scandal of former French national team colleague Mathieu Valbuena. Much of the world's attention shifted to Benzema, despite the fact that it was Valbuena's tape, due to his "complicity to blackmail" while trying to help the latter make the problem go away.

Now, after having been found guilty in the case lodged against him by a French court back in November, Benzema is €230,000 lighter after the amount was seized from his accounts by the French government on Friday. Get Football reports that €80k from the total will go towards legal fees, while the rest will serve as compensation for damages to Valbuena himself. The said amount for damages was ordered to be paid by the five accused, in a group composed of some of Benzema's childhood friends.

While not directly involved in the actual sex tape, Benzema found himself in the middle of the controversy after he spoke to Valbuena and tried to convince him to simply pay off the blackmailers. However, Valbuena refused to make the problem go away by giving in to blackmail, and the case shifted towards Benzema's involvement.

Benzema "implicated himself personally, through subterfuge and lies, to convince his team-mate to submit to the blackmail", read part of the ruling issued by the court in Versailles where the trial was held in November.

After the fines were not voluntarily paid, Valbuena's lawyers sought the government's help, leading to the seizure of the funds. Benzema's lawyers have appealed against the decision, and want the money in escrow while the appeal is being heard.

However, multiple reports from France have confirmed that the money has already been deducted from the prolific striker's accounts. His camp is not happy with the "severe" sentence, but fans are relieved to at least know that he has escaped jail time.

For now, the Real Madrid star is busy focusing on his recovery from a hamstring injury ahead of the club's quarter-final clash against Athletic Club in the Copa del Rey next Thursday.

Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema scored for Real Madrid hours before he is due to go on trial in a French court AFP / Sergei SUPINSKY