Valbuena said in an interview published Friday that the 27 year-old Real Madrid striker, who has been charged with complicity to blackmail him over the tape did not tell him to pay money directly but suggested that he settle them.
Asked by Le Monde newspaper whether Benzema had just urged him to meet the blackmailers, Valbuena declared: “Incite, that means ‘you will have to pay’ indirectly,” Valbuena replied in his first public comments on the affair.
“He was not aggressive in his manner of talking, he did not talk about money concretely, directly. But when someone insists that I 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,” Valbuena said.
“I am very very very disappointed and I can only note that my relations with Karim were not as sincere as he makes out,” he added.
According to investigation sources, Benzema has admitted to police that he was to act as an “intermediary” between Valbuena and one of the blackmailers who was a childhood friend of the striker.
The scandal has rocked France’s campaign for the European Championships which the country will host next year. Benzema has been banned from meeting Valbuena and neither were chosen for recent France games.
By Olisemeka Obeche (with agency reports)