- Special Features
Blogs & Columns
- Fun & Games
There have been a number of sex tape scandals, and more keep surfacing. Some have boosted or started careers, while others have been damaging. Here are 10 of the top sex tape scandals that hurt or helped careers.
10. Joan Laurrer (Chyna)
Joan Laurrer, widely known by her professional wrestler name, Chyna, released a sex tape in order to revive her career. Red Light District Video, the same company that distributed Paris Hilton’s tape, distributed Laurrer’s tape called “1 Night in China." The sex tape wasn’t very well received, but the following year, Laurrer landed a spot on VH1s The Surreal Life. This led to her appearance on The Surreal Life: Fame Games and Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.
9. Kendra Wilkinson
Playmate Kendra Wilkinson’s sex tape helped her to become better known, and provided her with extra cash. Wilkinson’s video became the best-selling sex tape of all time for Vivid Entertainment. After trying to stop the release, Wilkinson engaged in negotiations and got up to 50% of the profits.
8. Tulisa Contostavlos
X Factor Judge Tulisa Contostavlos’ sex tape leaked in March of this year. The tape was released by her ex-boyfriend, Justin Edwards. Although Tulsa thought the tape would ruin her career, her single “Young” topped the charts in the UK in April, and in May, she was voted the World’s Sexiest Woman by FHM magazine. She remained a judge on X Factor after Simon Cowell defended her and said her status on the show would not be affected.
7. Pamela Anderson
Pamela Anderson’s sex tape with Tommy Lee made her career stronger. Anderson was already heavily desired, but the tape increased her appeal. Anderson became one of the first internet sensations.
6. R. Kelly
R&B star R. Kelly was involved in a sex tape scandal in 2001. The girl that was in the tape with him was allegedly under age. Kelly was arrested, but ended up not being charged of a crime. Kelly’s song writing career took off, however his reputation was tarnished.
5. Rob Lowe
In 1989, Rob Lowe’s sex tape landed him in some hot water and jeopardized his career. Lowe was filmed having sex with two girls. He was 22-years-old, and it was later revealed that one of the girls was only 16. Lowe claimed he was unaware that she was underage. Although it almost destroyed his career, Lowe has admitted that the scandal actually became a positive for him. He has told Oprah that it accelerated his alcohol addiction to the point where he had to push himself to become sober. He has now been sober for 20 years.
4. Carrie Prejean
Miss California Carrie Prejean was widely known for her comments regarding gay marriage that sparked controversy. Racy pictures were leaked of Prejean, but Donald Trump let her keep her position as Miss California. Shortly after, she was fired for violating her contract. After all of this drama, a sex tape of Prejean leaked . After the first tape leaked, 8 more followed as well as more nude photos. Prejean claimed they weren’t sex tapes, since she was not having intercourse with another person, but they were still very racy. She had always promoted herself as being wholesome and pure, but the tapes said otherwise. She released a book four days before the leak called Still Standing, but there was little to no interest in it. There has been speculation that this timing was no coincidence. The sex tapes took a toll on Prejean’s reputation, making her known for the hardcore tapes and pictures rather than being the former Miss California and a book author.
3. John Edwards
Senator John Edwards launched a presidential campaign in 2008. During the campaign, Edwards had an affair with his videographer, Rielle Hunter. The scandal engulfed Edwards' campaign. He admitted to the affair that he was having while married to his cancer-stricken wife, but denied that the baby Hunter was carrying was his. A few months later, Edwards acknowledged that he was the father. The scandal destroyed his campaign and forced him to drop out. The affair produced a sex tape that sparked even more controversy and continued to tarnish his reputation. Edwards' political career was destroyed.
2. Paris Hilton
One of the best-known sex tapes was “1 Night in Paris” starring 19-year-old Pairs Hilton and 30-year-old Rick Salomon. The tape was released by Salomon before Hilton’s reality show The Simple Life debuted. Paris tried to do damage control, but overall, her career was given a boost. Hilton went on to become a well-known reality star. She also released a CD, modeled, wrote a book and launched a fashion empire, including perfume, accessories and more.
1. Kim Kardashian
One of the most popular sex tapes recently was Kim Kardashian and her then boyfriend, singer, Ray J. It is widely believed that her sex tape leaking is the reason why she has become a household name. After the release, Kardashian was offered a reality show, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, which is still on the air. She has also launched a successful clothing line among many other business ventures.