Real Madrid's French forward Karim Benzema has been arrested over a scandal involving an alleged attempt to blackmail another soccer player using a sex tape, according to The Guardian.
Benzema's arrest came shortly after former France and Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse was questioned regarding the same case. He has since been released.
Benzema, 27, was called on by the French police department in Versailles on Wednesday for questioning, and the local prosecutor's office would only confirm he was being interrogated in regards to the sex tape case.
But, according to AP, Benzema was in fact arrested after arriving to the police office.
The U.S. news agency said police were trying to determine what Benzema's role was in blackmailing Mathieu Valbuena, who plays for the French soccer team Lyon.
Silvain Cormier, Benzema's lawyer, said his client approached the judge in the case to inform him he was available to authorities since he learned he was being mentioned in the scandal.
"Benzema wants to put an end to this controversy that rose from a case he did not take part in,” Cormier told AP.
This is not the first time Benzema faces legal troubles off the pitch. Five years ago, charges were brought against him and Franck Ribery for requesting the services of an underage prostitute.
Both players were questioned during the investigation in France into an alleged network of prostitution that was operating inside a nightclub in one of Paris' most plush areas. The case went on for three years until both players were exonerated.
Benzema has been linked to the blackmail case through a sex tape recorded on a mobile phone, AFP reported.
L’Equipe said police want to clarify if a conversation Benzema and Valbuena had during a meeting of the French national team in October was friendly advice or part of the plot to blackmail the player.
If found guilty, Benzema – whose salary in 2014 was US$9 million – could face a jail sentence of up to five years.