A celebrity sex tape is a home video of human sexual behavior, as performed by a celebrity and his or her partner(s), which finds internet and/or bootleg and occasionally legitimate commercial distribution and made available to an audience for which it was supposedly not intended.
Such tapes were often released without consent of their subjects and could damage celebrities' careers. In 1988 a sex tape aided the downfall of Rob Lowe's career. However, in recent years many celebrities have benefited from the publicity of the release of a sex tape. The release of Paris Hilton's sex tape in 2003 as well as Kim Kardashian and Ray J in 2007 brought them to a new level of fame, leading to magazine covers, book deals, and reality TV series.
The surfacing of sex tapes has become so common that some are "leaked" as a marketing tool to advance or establish a media career. A celebrity can fight the release in court to maintain deniability while still feeling the career benefits. In contrast, a celebrity may take the route of openly releasing the tape and benefit directly from royalties as well as indirectly from the publicity. In 2004 professional wrestler Chyna and her husband entered into a distribution deal with Red Light District Video for their home video. Chyna later was cast on the VH1 reality show The Surreal Life.
The current public acceptance of celebrities with sex tapes is speculated by Joe Levy, executive editor of Rolling Stone, to be due to the easy availability of pornography, as well as couples more commonly making their own tapes due to the prevalence of video cameras.
Famous celebrity sex tapes
The following is an alphabetical list by surname of individuals known to have their sexual acts recorded and distributed:
- Julia Alexandratou, a Greek beauty pageant titleholder, model and singer, had a 45-minute sex tape with French porn star Ian Scott, which was released as a DVD on 3 March 2010 in Greece.
- Pamela Anderson is known to have been depicted in two distinct sex tapes.
Pamela Anderson and Bret Michaels (singer of the band Poison) had a sex tape released as a DVD on 7 September 2005. The footage had been circulating on the internet for many years.
- Dustin Lance Black. In June 2009, photos from a videotape of Black engaging in unprotected sexual acts with another man were published by internet gossip columnist Perez Hilton. Black released a statement, saying: "It is unfortunate that individuals and other outside parties are trying to profit from material which is clearly private." His statement also emphasized the importance of responsible sexual practices.
- Chu Mei-feng had a 47-minute video CD secretly taken with a pinhole camera, released by a local paparazzi magazine in December 2001. The video showed Chu having sex with Tseng Chung-ming, who was later confirmed as a married man. Despite local authorities' immediate effort to pull all the magazines in question from the market, the video quickly spread via the Internet. In January 2002, search engine Lycos reported that her name was among the most searched terms. That same year, many Taiwanese lingerie manufacturers reported a significant growth in the sales of white thong panties, the same style Chu wore in the video.
- Chua Soi Lek, while serving as Malaysia's Health Minister, was secretly videotaped having sex. Two resulting DVDs were distributed freely and anonymously to various homes in Batu Pahat. On 2 January 2008, Chua announced his resignation, despite saying he would not do so the previous day.
- Daniela Cicarelli was a Brazilian TV show hostess for MTV Brasil and fashion model. Her sex video was broadcast on the TV show Dolce Vita on Spanish channel Telecinco. It revealed Cicarelli on a beach in Spain fondling her boyfriend, Merrill Lynch employee Renato "Tato" Malzoni, and later having sex with him in the water.
- Dustin Diamond, of Saved by the Bell fame, authorized the release of a 40-minute sex tape in 2006 in the hopes that it would bring in profits and provide a boost to his career.
- Fred Durst, the frontman for the band Limp Bizkit, had a video of him and an unknown woman having sex leaked onto the internet by a repairman who had been repairing his computer. He later sued the website Gawker and nine others for $70 million dollars for publishing it.
- John Edwards, former Senator and Presidential candidate, had a sex tape surface in early 2010. The tape depicts Edwards having sex with his mistress Rielle Hunter, reportedly while Hunter was pregnant with their love child. The tape was discovered by former Edwards aide Andrew Young among a box of personal items left at his home by Hunter. On 5 February 2010, Judge Abraham Penn Jones ordered the tape must be turned over to the court as part of a case to determine if hush money paid to Hunter by Edwards' 2008 Presidential Campaign constituted a violation of campaign finance laws.
- Amy Fisher, the infamous “Long Island Lolita,” who in 1992, at the age of 17, had shot and seriously injured the wife of her 36 year old lover Joey Buttafuoco, in 2007 made a number of sex tapes with her husband Louis Bellera. In late 2007, nude pictures of Fisher appeared on the internet, followed shortly by several of the videos. Subsequently, at the age of 33, Fisher started her own porn site, released a pay-per-view adult film titled Amy Fisher: Caught On Tape, and commenced to tour the United States as a stripper.
- Katrina Halili's "Hayden Camera" controversy leaked in May 2009 which showed videos that reveal sexual encounters between Halili and Dr. Hayden Kho, distributed over the internet without her consent.
- Tonya Harding and her then husband Jeff Gillooly aka Jeff Stone had a sex tape that was leaked onto the internet and subsequently became so widely available that the couple decided to release it legitimately on their own. It is commercially sold by Penthouse Home Video as the "Wedding Night" tape, even though the wedding gown was actually a Halloween costume.
- Keeley Hazell made a sex tape while on vacation with her then-boyfriend Lloyd Miller in the Canary Islands.
- Paris Hilton and then-boyfriend Rick Salomon recorded themselves having sex in a hotel room, shot in night vision. Hilton initially attempted to stop the distribution of the tape, but she now receives profits from the distribution of the video. This footage, along with additional full-color footage, was released commercially under the title 1 Night in Paris.
- Vietnamese television star Hoàng Thùy Linh lost her job on a TV series after a video of the 19-year-old having sex with her boyfriend was released on the internet.
- Nazril Irham, an Indonesian pop star known as 'Ariel' was charged in June 2010 with breaking the law by appearing in two sex videos circulating on the internet. TV presenter Luna Maya and soap opera star Cut Tari denied being the women in the videos. The videos prompted an outpouring of criticism from conservative Muslims. Irham faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to six billion rupiah (equivalent to US$500,000) under a controversial anti-pornography law that came into effect in Indonesia in 2008, even if the court determines he never intended the videos to be leaked to the public. The video could also result in his prosecution under a law banning adultery, owing to Cut Tari having been married at the time the time the video was made in 2006.
- Ulrika Jonsson won a court order banning footballer Stan Collymore from selling an explicit video of the pair having sex.
- Socialite and store-keeper Kim Kardashian confirmed the existence of a sex tape of her made by then-boyfriend Ray J. She threatened to take legal action to block its planned distribution by Vivid Video. Her sex tape arguably made her a household name when E! made her and her family the focus of a reality show called Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
- Jayne Kennedy, a former sportscaster and blaxploitation actress, had a sex tape stolen and released showing her with former husband Leon Isaac Kennedy.
- Joan "Joanie" Laurer, better known as Chyna, and fellow professional wrestler Sean Waltman (aka X-Pac) appeared in a home sex tape sold under the title 1 Night in China. The tape was not leaked, but was actually solicited to pornographic film distributors by the duo.
- Jenna Lewis, a contestant on Survivor, had her wedding night sex tape released. It features 42 minutes of sex with her husband, model Travis Wolfe, in a Las Vegas, Nevada hotel room.
- Rob Lowe faced controversy in the 1980s; he taped himself having sex with two young women, one of whom was underage.
- Ophélie-Marie and her boyfriend recorded themselves having sex. A former Playboy Playmate who appeared in the magazine's French edition in 2006, she was also a cast member of a French reality show, Secret Story, in 2007. This video was tagged "The Real Sextape" because in the past she had promoted a poker website with a fake sextape. At the moment, there is no official news about legal proceedings.
- Olivia Mojica, a contestant on season two of American Idol, recorded a sex tape with then boyfriend Adam Roberts in early 2007. It was released by Vivid Video in May of that year under the title "Olivia Mojica: Hardcore Idol".
- Carolyn Murphy's ex-husband Jake Schroeder allegedly tried to sell a tape featuring them having sex during their honeymoon in 1999 while in Barbados. In January 2006, Schroeder was arrested and charged with extortion for trying to sell the tape. The video was leaked onto the internet in April 2006.
- Nicole Narain and Colin Farrell have a 13-minute sex tape. Farrell confirmed the existence of the tape and successfully obtained a court order blocking its distribution, copies of the tape appeared on the internet in January 2006, however.
- Vince Neil made a sex tape in 1993 with porn star Janine Lindemulder and actress/former Penthouse Pet Brandy Ledford (who was mosaically-obscured) which was leaked and eventually released by the same company that distributed the by-then infamous sex video made by Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee.
- Noelia. In June 2007, a sex tape of Puerto Rican singer Noelia and her former boyfriend started circulating on the Internet, which generated plenty of sensational coverage by the media.
- Carrie Prejean. CNN reported that dethroned beauty queen Prejean settled with Miss California USA officials after it was discovered that a sex tape featuring Prejean had made it into the hands of pageant officials. Prejean appeared alone in the tape, which was described as "too racy" for posting on a celebrity gossip site. Prejean claimed that the video was created, when she was 17, for her then boyfriend.
- Robert Ritchie, aka Kid Rock, and Scott Stapp, singer of the band Creed, appear in a sex tape from 1999 in which the two have sex with four groupies. California pornography company Red Light District planned to release the tape in 2006, but one of the women involved filed to block it. Ritchie also filed an injunction, called Stapp an "idiot," and blamed him for the tape's leak.
- Jenni Rivera's sex video was stolen from her house and released onto the internet in October 9, 2008.
- Jessica Sierra, a former contestant on American Idol and Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, had a sex tape that is scheduled to be released.
- Gene Simmons, despite denials at first he finally admitted it was indeed him in the sex tape that was released via the internet in 2008.
- Abi Titmuss, a British TV personality, appears in a sex tape featuring herself, her ex–TV presenter boyfriend John Leslie, and different women.
- Verne Troyer, best known as mini-me from the Austin Powers franchise: On June 25, 2008, a private home videotape was released which showed Troyer and his former live-in girlfriend Ranae Shrider having sex. The video, which had been made during the Easter Weekend of 2008 at Raffles L’Ermitage hotel, was leaked to the public by Shrider to TMZ. Kevin Blatt, the man responsible for brokering the deal for the Paris Hilton sex tape in 2003, attempted to sell the video. Troyer sued TMZ, Blatt, and online rental company SugarDVD, for invasion of privacy and copyright infringement. The incident was referenced in the Hedley song "Cha-Ching"
- Severina Vučković, a Croatian pop star known for promoting abstinence, had a tape of her having sex with a married man released on the Internet in 2004. She claimed the video was stolen and sued. The case was later dismissed.
- Kendra Wilkinson, from Playboy's The Girls Next Door had an unauthorized sex tape released by Vivid on May 2010. She tried to block the release of the former movie, but it soon reached internet. The video was filmed in 2003 when she was 18 and before she had breast implants.