Benjamin Mendy, a former player for Manchester City, has been cleared of raping one woman and trying to rape another. Some media men got close to him and his only word was Alhamdulillah.
After a retrial at Chester Crown Court, the former French international sobbed as the jury found him not guilty.
The 28-year-old defender has now been cleared of all charges resulting from six women’s accusations against him, ending his professional career.
Between October 2018 and August 2021, the women said he assaulted them at his £4.8 million gated estate, frequently at unauthorized parties held during Covid lockdowns.
He was found not guilty in January of raping four women and sexually abusing a fifth, and the jury was deadlocked on two more allegations, leading to the need for a new trial.
On Friday, he was found not guilty of trying to rape a woman who visited his home with his friend, another French football player named Diacko Fofana. She said that Mendy tried to rape her as soon as she emerged from the shower, but he claimed that they had just flirted and that he left as soon as she declined.
He was also exonerated of raping a lady he met at a bar in the affluent Cheshire neighborhood of Alderley Edge.
Mendy argued during his first four-month trial at Chester Crown Court that the ladies had desired sex with him. He admitted to the jury that having sex with a variety of women, often on the same night as they had sex with his pals, was “normal” for him.
He said that it was “honestly, so easy” for him to pick up women at nightclubs and bring them to his home close to the Cheshire village of Prestbury because he was a well-known footballer.
After arriving at the house and feeling helpless to call for assistance, some of the women claimed they were forced to hand over their phones. Mendy, however, asserted that he only required visitors to place their phones in a box out of concern for their privacy, particularly when hosting lockdown-busting events, and that the women could always get their phones back.
The celebrations, which frequently featured people stripping down in Mendy’s pool, were powered by drink and nitrous oxide balloons. All across the house, people would have sex in various rooms, occasionally switching partners.
Mendy acknowledged not using a condom during any of the interactions, claiming that despite being aware of the hazards, he “didn’t worry” about contracting or spreading STDs. He emailed a 17-year-old the morning after having intercourse with her to inquire about if she had taken the “morning after” medication.
The court was informed that he has a child with a prior partner, but he was resolved not to date while playing for City.
After meeting him at a bar in Alderley Edge with England star Jesse Lingard, a young woman accused Mendy of raping her a few weeks previously. This led to Mendy’s first arrest in November 2020.
After a second lady went to the police and accused Mendy of sexually abusing her during a party at his house on January 2, 2021, he was released while an investigation was ongoing and was then detained once more on January 4, 2021.
He was granted bail with the restrictions of not hosting parties at home and continuing to play for Manchester City. But according to testimony given in court, he kept inviting ladies back to his house after evenings out in Manchester. Mendy responded that he did not believe he had broken any laws when asked why he had disregarded his bail requirements.
The 17-year-old accused him of rape on August 23, 2021, during one of these afterparties. Shortly after, she called the police, and on August 26 Mendy was arrested and charged with a crime. He wasn’t suspended or placed on unpaid leave by Manchester City until after that. Up until that point, the club has been covering his estimated £90,000 weekly salary.
Mendy moved to City from Monaco in 2017 for £52 million, a then-record transfer cost for a defender.
Mendy stated in testimony at Chester Crown Court that he had “learned lots of things about life” while being imprisoned and on remand. While sitting in his cell, he claimed that he thought back on his actions and only then did he realize that it was still possible to harm women’s feelings, “even if we were both OK to have sex.” He realized that the way he had occasionally spoken about women was “disrespectful”.