A football agent, Léo D'Souza, claims the Real Madrid striker's entourage tried to bundle him into the back of a van in Paris on October 7.
Karim Benzema and his agent Sylvain Cormier have both responded to allegations of an attempted kidnap on the part of the Real Madrid striker’s entourage after a football agent named Léo D’Souza claimed associates of Benzema attempted to bundle him into the back of a van outside a shisha bar in Paris earlier this month.
D’Souza told French police that he had been asked to bring 50,000 euros from Morocco to France to give to Benzema for sponsorship work he had done but later claimed the money had been taken from him by customs officers in Marrakesh. Benzema’s entourage had arranged to meet him to pick up the money and according to French news outlet Médiaset were in possession of a receipt for the amount that was signed by customs officers.
D’Souza’s statement to police said that Benzema had been in the van at the time of the alleged kidnap attempt and that the player’s associates had manhandled him in a bid to force him into the vehicle.
Speaking to Spanish news agency EFE, Cormier said that he would be filing a complaint of abuse of trust with police over the allegations, after having already submitted one for defamation. “He dreamed of working with Benzema,” Cormier added. “Maybe he dreamed a little too much. He is trying to conceal a swindle by damaging Mr. Benzema.”
Benzema: "Is this world serious?"
« Un proche de Benzema touche le bras de De Souza, c’est un enlevement » « De Souza est roué de coups, il n’a aucun jour d’ITT » « De Souza dit que Benzema était dans le Van, thèse écartée par les enquêteurs » Ce monde est-il sérieux ? #FautArreter #Givemeabreak #CTrop pfff 🤮— Karim Benzema (@Benzema) 18 October 2018
Benzema also responded to the allegations on social media, posting a message denying any involvement in the matter and suggesting there is a media witch hunt afoot against him: “An associate of Benzema touched De Souza’s [sic] arm and that’s a kidnap attempt. De Souza has been beaten to a pulp and yet he has not been signed off work. De Souza says that Benzema was in the van and investigators have discarded this theory. Is this world serious?” Benzema said, adding, “#GiveMeABreak”.
Cormier confirmed that police had ruled out Benzema’s presence at the time of the incident while Médiapart, who made the initial report, stated that the person against whom D’Souza had filed the accusation is the player’s childhood friend Smaïne Tabennehas, who went to meet D’Souza with Benzema’s head of communications, Yamna Aghrib. Both men have denied there was any physical confrontation.