Benzema was charged by a court in Versailles last week with ‘blackmail and participating in a criminal conspiracy’, as part of an investigation into an alleged plot to extort money from Lyon midfielder Valbuena who starred in a sex-tape.
L’Equipe and Europe 1 on Wednesday released the entire transcript of the phone conversation between Karim Benzema and his childhood friend, Karim Zenati.
The 20-minute conversation, which was initially leaked by Europe 1 in snippets on Tuesday, goes some way to explaining and confirming Karim Benzema’s alleged involvement in the Mathieu Valbuena sextape blackmail case.
Get French Football News has reproduced the transcript in English, which you can check out below.
Benzema: Go ahead, I saw the other guy [Valbuena].
Zenati: And, what do you think?
Benzema: Um, what do I think, the truth?
Benzema: I think that he does not take us seriously.
Benzema: There you have it.
Zenati: Yes, so that means in reality, I think, he will not give anything away, no?
Benzema: Yes, yes, yes, yes, he is not taking us seriously.
Zenati: What did he say to you?
Benzema: What did he say to me, euh, you know at the beginning he believed, he believed (inaudible) you see, that it was a joke… I told him: I’m here to help matters. You need to see this guy. He will come. He will speak to you. But I give you my word that there is not another copy (of the sextape). After that we spoke, and spoke, in the video you see my tattoos (Valbuena asked).
You see everything, in short. I said to him. I am serious, I said to him, honestly, I have seen it, the video, I said to him. He said I know. But what do they want? I said to him, I have no idea what they want, I said to him, it is not me, he said to me yes, he wants money. Well, in my opinion you see, I said if I had a video like that of a guy… Well in any case they want to create a buzz, it would not be the same buzz if it was you…
Zenati: You’re right.
Benzema: But brother, brother, it is true that it is true that it will not make the same buzz as it would for me, but brother you are putting an end to his career brother. It is needless, he is having tomatoes thrown at him. I said to him, it is not a question of buzz, but a question of pride.
Benzema: I spoke to him about family, I said that it has nothing to do with buzz, we don’t give a shit, I said to him then. I said to him that now that if someone releases a photo, a video like that. That for me that does absolutely nothing but your mother, your father they will see your woman or I have no idea who. You see, after that he was thinking, thinking. I said to him that in any case he should do what he wants. There, I am with the French national team until Sunday, if you give me your number, I will give it, I will give it to my friend. He will come to see you in Lyon, you will discuss it, you see with him, he did not want to. Well, its your life, but I warned you eh?
Zenati: It is good brother, you have done really well.
Benzema: There you go, I said to him that. After that I do not know what he will do. He will call his agent, he will say that they have the video. I said to him, listen, there is no intermediary, no lawyer, no friend, no agent, no police, its not what you want.
Benzema: I said to him that if you want the video to be destroyed, come see my friend in Lyon. You see him directly and you speak with him, you send nobody.
Zenati: Well, there you go, that’s good.
Benzema: He said to me where did the video come from? I said to him: I have no idea where it came from.
Zenati: When he goes to sleep, he will know that you have told the truth.
Benzema: Well no, he was completely white.
Benzema: He said to me, the video, where did you see it? How long ago? After, he was asking me questions, but it was like how… I saw him gulping, he started gulping twice, three times.
Benzema: You see, you see a guy when he is panicking, have you seen that?
Zenati: You know that they are the best, when they do there little thing but na, na, na, na and after…
Benzema: Yes, he even said to me: you know who was the first who told me, it is Cissé. I said yes but Cissé had a hard time like that.
Benzema: I said to him, he (Cissé) did what? He said to me: he paid. I said to him: and the video, was it released or not? He said to me no. I said to him: me when I say to you that I have one word, it is that the video will not be released. Now, you do what you want. I came to see you because I saw this video, I was told about it, I cannot laugh with you in the dressing room and not tell you.
He said to me yes but when do they want to release it, if they release it, for the Euros? I said to him, well, I think, it is then when they would probably release it eh. I said to him if it was me who had a video like that, me I would not ask for money, I would release it, I would sell it to journalists. You see, I told him that.
Benzema: He said to me yes, well, thanks a lot and all, give me a day or two and I will tell you (Benzema laughs). He will call me, give me the contact details, please (he laughs).
Zenati: (he laughs) It is for him. Me, us, brother, we are helping him.
Benzema: Me, I am helping you (Benzema to Valbuena)… I said to him look, I don’t give a shit, it is not me. I came to see you. Yes thank you, it is good of you. He said to me: What do they want? I said to him: me I do not know. My aim, my thing ends here, you see, my train ends here. Now my friend (Zenati), he takes the matter up. He is the guy who knows the person, there is only one person who has your video. But I do not know him but my friend, he knows him.
Now if you want to sort this out, give your number, I will give it to him and you can take it up with him.
Zenati: Yes, perfect.
Benzema: I said to him: he is my friend, my mate, my best friend, he is like my brother. It is like as if he had a video of me.
Benzema: He said to me, yes, but you what would you have done? I said to him: me, I don’t give a shit about buzz, you see, so I would have paid just for my family… I said to him: you, if it is about buzz, if it is just about the buzz and you have warned your family, and they don’t care, well then let it be released, I said to him.
Zenati: Well yes, even I would have said that brother, but there you have it… (he laughs) Yes, yes its us brother, we are here in any case to sort it out. If he does not want it, then leave him, he can deal with these piranhas, he will deal with these piranhas and then he will…
Benzema: They will piss all over him.
Zenati: They will piss all over him brother, I’m fired up eh.
Benzema: The piranhas they will eat him, bro.
Zenati: Yes when you said to me that he was a good friend, I said to you yes after maybe they will ask the friend, they will say to him, I do not know, two football match tickets or I do not know what else they are playing at.
Benzema: (he laughs)
Zenati: There you go, job done, after that he will do what he wants.
Benzema’s agent, Sylvain Cormier, suggested the transcript was edited for effect.
“The press have information from an ongoing investigation. Who is giving them that information and why?” said Cormier.
“During the conversation…Karim Benzema declared that he had told Mathieu Valbuena not to pay. This declaration apparently does not interest anybody.”
Benzema has since been dropped by France and wasn’t listed for Real Madrid’s 3-2 loss at Sevilla over the weekend.