French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet has urged Karim Benzema be forgiven for his involvement in Mathieu Valbuena sex-tape plot.
The Real Madrid striker has been charged with complicity in an attempt to blackmail his international teammate and participating in a criminal conspiracy.
Benzema has been suspended from representing France in the meantime, throwing his participation in Euro 2016 into question – a competition for which the French are the host nation.
However, Le Graet insists Benzema simply “got carried away” and should not be treated too harshly.
“Maybe I have protected Karim excessively in this matter, but I really like him and we all make mistakes,” Le Graet told Paris Breizh Media.
“He got carried away by stupidity in this case. He has been stupid like a donkey. But I don’t believe in lecturing people.
“There are good and bad people in all environments, among teachers, among businessmen, anywhere.
“Benzema comes from a difficult environment and he got carried away.
“Karim is a guy I really like. People talk to me about the way he expresses himself, but we take everyone as they are. Football is like that.”