Benjamin Mendy case lifts the lid on footballer’s party lifestyle

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<p><figcaption class=Photo: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images

Benjamin Mendy’s five-month probation lifted the veil of his private life and provided unparalleled “keyhole” access to his home and immediate surroundings.

The jury heard the defender’s words of conversation: “I told him, ‘Show me your ass.’ He showed me his butt and I said, ‘Do you want to have sex?’ I said.” They discovered that although he regularly slept with more than one woman during the night, he never used any form of contraception. They heard that Mendy and his friends sometimes had sex with the same women, albeit separately, some nights.

The case began when the prosecution gave the jury a video tour of the Spinney estate, which Mendy bought for £4.8m in November 2017, shortly after signing with Manchester City for £52m. He told the court that it was the first property he saw, and he bought it right away.

The footage, taken with a police officer’s body-worn camera, began outside, where a yellow Lamborghini was among the many cars in the driveway. The jury were then shown the basement where Mendy has a swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna and home gym, as well as a football field. Pictures of Mendy and various graphics bearing his name could be seen on the walls. On the first floor, a huge room was set up as a nursery for his little boy.

The court heard that Mendy liked expensive things but was generous with her belongings. His assistant, Jodie Deakin, said she once saw him take off a designer tracksuit and give it to a homeless person in Manchester. Brands would send him unwanted clothes that visitors usually wear if their clothes got wet at one of the pool parties.

City manager Pep Guardiola said of Mendy: “He’s a really good kid, I’d say, very generous. I think he’s happy and I remember everyone asking for favors from us when we were together, and being able to do it.” However, he stressed that he didn’t know what Mendy was up to during his time: “I’m not his father.”

However, actors chosen because of their size, often before they reached puberty, were often treated as children who were not expected to run their own lives. The painting that appeared in Mendy’s court was of a spoiled prince who was never expected to live like an adult. Deakin explained that when Mendy ran out of money for renovations, he had to deal with payment requests to his estate. Despite earning enormous sums, he was unable to keep track of his spending – he admitted that he only learned the value of money when he earned £4 a day in prison.

Deakin described a flamboyant character who likes to stand out. “You can tell from a mile away that he’s a football player because they all have similar dressing styles. It’s dripping on the designer. That look would have attracted a lot of girls,” he told the jury.

Despite being popular with City staff, Mendy “wasn’t a great professional,” according to Marc Boixasa, former head of first team operations and support. “On the one hand, he was loved by everyone in the team locker room, the players and the coaching staff. Sometimes his professionalism was questionable, arriving late in the morning or late to some meetings.”

It wasn’t surprising that Mendy was often late for practice – the jury heard that she often partyed until the morning, despite having to get up for her morning practice. Their guests would be left alone with keeping the party going or having their private chef prepare breakfast for them. They were often still in Spinney when he returned.

His housekeeper, Yvonne Shea, knew very well that he was throwing wild parties, and would sometimes show up to pick up the rest.

He said that after a party he went to the actor’s house in Prestbury. When asked what she saw when she entered the house, Shea replied, “Disaster. Bottles everywhere, food everywhere. The glass table was broken. It was like windshield glass, so it was everywhere.”

He said various women were wandering around trying to find their handbags. Mendy has implemented a policy at Spinney that looks like a public policy.

They were part of the “Manchester scene” meeting in nightclubs such as the Chinawhite in Manchester city centre, or Parea in Alderley Edge, a Cheshire suburb loved by Manchester’s newly wealthy and especially the players of the city’s two football clubs. The jury heard that these are the sorts of places where, if you want a table, a pint of vodka can cost hundreds of pounds and champagne a thousand or more.

Covid has put an end to the Manchester scene – at least in public. But even after Mendy was fined by the police for breaking the lockdown rules in private gatherings, the parties continued at Mendy’s mansion.

She told the jury that Mendy only had time to think about her life while sitting in a prison cell following her arrest on a sex offence charge. She realized then that the way she and her friends talked about women at the time was “disrespectful and bad.”

Mendy told the jury that he knew women were more interested in him because he was a famous football player. She got a taste of the attention in her early years at Monaco, but when she joined Manchester City in 2017 she said the interest was “10 times greater”.

“The reason they came to me is not my looks, it’s football,” he said.

When asked about his attitude towards having sex with women he doesn’t know very well, he said, “I wasn’t thinking about how they were feeling at the time, or they might be upset because if they wanted to have sex for me and I wanted it, everything was fine and I was going to continue my party.

On Friday, Mendy was acquitted of six rapes and one sexual assault. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on charges of raping one woman and attempting to rape another.

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