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Soccer player stands trial over sex tape affair

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The trial of one of the biggest names in soccer opened in France on Wednesday (October 20).

Karim Benzema is accused of complicity in the attempted blackmail of a former team mate when they played for the French national team.

Investigators allege Benzema, who also plays for Real Madrid in Spain, encouraged former France player Mathieu Valbuena to pay a group of alleged blackmailers who were threatening to make a sex tape public.

Benzema has denied wrongdoing and his lawyer has described the as case "absurd."

Benzema didn't attend the first day of the trial, after he travelled to Ukraine with Real Madrid for a game.

Four others face charges of attempted blackmail.

Benzema faces up to five years in jail and a fine of about $87,000 if he is convicted.