Pop culture

5 Celebrity Sex Tape Scandals You've Forgotten About

We've compiled a list of the most scandalous scandals...and how those involved moved on from them.
Reading time 6 minutes

In this uber-connected era, where technology has embedded itself into daily life, sex tapes accidentally entering the public domain has become a common (and feared) occurrence. Scandalous stories, true or not, have come out from these sensual videos as they have the unfortunate tendency to create an immediate buzz that is...not always positive. But why is a sex tape going viral deemed a terrifying experience when, in private, it can help spice up your sex life as a couple? Well, the answer is, having this private experience broadcasted on the internet is definitely not the same thing. When faced with this situation, how can you save your image? Or make this fade out of people’s memories? Below is a collection of some of the most successful comebacks from our favorite celebrities whose sex tapes were leaked. 

Pamela Anderson

Photo via Instagram / @pamelaanderson

What Happened?

The beginning of the sex tape frenzy can be contributed to Pamela Anderson in 1995. With drummer Tommy Lee, who would later become her future husband, the actress created an intimate recording that was intended to stay private. Unfortunately, for the couple, a hired electrician, Rand Gauthier stole the videotape from the musician's safe and posted it online. The media attention was so insane that it even lead to the band being propelled to the top of the Guinness Book of Records ranking for the highest number of downloads. However, this experience did not prevent the Baywatch star from finding herself at the centre of a new scandal in 1998 when a second sex tape was published without her knowledge.

How She Responded:

In response to these tapes being leaked, Pamela Anderson reformed her image. Instead of being only known for her dream body, she began to stand up for causes dear to her heart such as campaigns for animal defence alongside PETA, and advocating for a new vegetarian lifestyle. She involved herself in France, helping to raise awareness about the situation with the Calais migrant camps, prompting action within the French government. At the same time, the starlet became known to the young generation through shows like Dancing with the Stars (American and French). 

Kim Kardashian

Photo via Instagram / @kimkardashian

What Happened?

In 2003, before the Kardashians became one of the most famous families in the world, Kim Kardashian shot an explicit video with R&B singer Ray J. This video was streamed online four years later in 2007 and created media hysteria that launched Kim Kardashian, and the rest of the Kardashian clan, into the mainstream spotlight. Kim has refused to reveal more information on the origins of the video and has denied speculation that she made an argument to leak it, stating that she felt humiliated and regretted it in an interview with Oprah. She later sued Vivid Entertainment and settled for $5 million dollars after dropping the suit. 

How She Responded: 

Kim, however, reformed her image through her reality show Keeping Up with The Kardashians. This bad experience ironically catapulted her reality career and ever since has been able to change her life. She created well-established businesses; a makeup brand, perfume line, and a solutionwear brand Skims. She also has been reported as the 6th wealthiest woman in the world in entertainment by Forbes magazine in 2019. She now has decided to use this fame for politics; pleading for the recognition of the Armenian genocide, and is now working to become a lawyer, like her late father, to see justice for those without a voice. 

Paris Hilton

Photo via Instagram / @parishilton

What Happened? 

At 23-year-old, heiress to Hilton Hotels, Paris Hilton filmed a sex tape in 2004 with her boyfriend at the time, produced by Rick Salomon. The tape, named "One Night in Paris," quickly went viral and for years followed Hilton. When the tape was leaked, Solomon and Hilton both sued each other and the company that released the tape. She won the trial, pocketing the pretty sum of $400,000 for damages which Hilton donated to charity.

How She Responded: 

Following this controversy, Paris Hilton involved herself in various areas to reform her image. She tried singing, DJing, modeling and acting. Hilton is now infamous for being emblematic of the iconic style of the early 2000s as a socialite and fashion icon.

Jennifer Lopez

Photo via Instagram / @jlo

What happened? 

At the end of the '90s, the singer and actress shot an intimate video with her husband of the time, Ojani Noa. At the end of their relationship, the ex-husband threatened the starlet to disclose the compromising recording in an effort to take revenge against the young star. After a court dispute, Lopez won the case without the video ever being published. 

How She Responded:

Between her success as a pop star and her astonishing rise in the film industry, it didn't take much for J.Lo to bury the business of her sex tape. Due to the fact that the tape was never published, she was able to quickly move on from the scandal and pivot her focus back to her career.

Photo via Instagram / @carolynmurphy

Carolyn Murphy

What Happened?

In 1999, model Carolyn Murphy also had her privacy violated. At the time, Murphy was married to Jake Schroeder, and the couple filmed a sex tape while on their honeymoon. Schroeder later tried to sell the sex tape, and was charged with grand theft and extortion.

How She Responded:

Murphy responded by continuing her modeling career and occasionally dipped her toe into acting. Murphy controlled the publicity around the scandal so that it did not escalate as far as other incidents. 

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