French national team player and Real Madrid forward faces the very real possibility of spending five years in prison if he is found guilty of charges brought against him.
He is being investigated in connection with a blackmail case involving another French national team player, Mathieu Valbuena, who plays for club side Marseille.
Karim Benzema was held in custody last night and appeared before a judge today for allegedly taking part in a conspiracy to blackmail Valbuena over an alleged sex tape. Although under formal investigation, the judge will rule if there is sufficient evidence to formally charge him.
In the interim, Karim Benzema has been banned from communicating with Mathieu Valbuena and other people related to the case. Both players have been dropped from the French national team.