Shakira and her soccer superstar boyfriend Gerard Pique claim they are NOT being extorted over an alleged sex tape ... despite reports they're at the center of a blackmail plot.
The famous couple were reportedly being shaken down by a former employee who had gotten their hands on some homemade "erotic content" of the two ... and wanted a "big sum of money" in return.
But a rep for Pique says it's all BS -- claiming there's no such plot.
The report comes after another huge soccer star -- Karim Benzema -- was arrested in France for allegedly blackmailing a teammate over a sex tape.
Benzema denies any wrongdoing -- but if convicted, he faces serious prison time.