• hours
  • minutes
  • seconds
  • Share
French team wracked by scandal

Lawyer denies Benzema used prostitute

April 26, 2010
By Soccernet staff

Karim Benzema's lawyer has denied allegations the France and Real Madrid forward had sexual relations with an under-age prostitute as reports continue to rage over a sex scandal concerning several of the squad.

Karim Benzema
GettyImagesKarim Benzema: Out of form, out of squad

• Govou, Ribery quizzed in scandal

Benzema had been named by the media as one of the four members of the France team who could be questioned by police in an investigation into a prostitution ring and, while his lawyer admits the striker knows the girl in question, he maintains his client never had sexual relations with the young prostitute.

"He remembers very well who she is and remembers crossing her path several times on nights out but he has never had sexual relations or anything with her," said lawyer Sylvain Cormier. "He also has nothing to do with Zaman Cafe and its owners."

Prostitution is legal in France as long as the person is over the age of 18, but the girl at the centre of the reports was reportedly only 16 at the time of the alleged events. However, Cormier admits insists the former Lyon striker has not been called in for questioning.

"Reports appeared in the newspapers that he has been summoned by the police authorities but we have not received any summons," he said. "All this paper talk is of course annoying. I have asked the authorities for news and like everyone else I see what the newspapers are writing but to be honest we don't really know if he will be summoned or not. I think it's a very serious possibility but that's it."

Cormier is confident the 22-year-old is not allowing himself to be affected too much by the scandal after he was included in the Real Madrid squad that beat Real Zaragoza 2-1 on Saturday.

"It's quite difficult for Benzema because of the way he's being presented in the press. They're saying that he has been summoned," he said. "These are situations which aren't very clear, not very easy to live through. But he's managing to focus.

"He's in an environment which is very demanding mentally and I think it's an environment where he feels quite at ease so when people have a go at him he's able to to concentrate on his team."

The French Football Federation came out in support of the players last week, with a statement insisting the quartet are innocent until proven otherwise.