This is the generation of the celebrity sex tape. Oh they’ve been around for decades. But it wasn’t until the arrival of the internet that an effective method was found for getting them out to the public – be it illegally, or legitimately. Grainy, badly-lit footage of your favorite stars at their most exposed is now only a search and a click away.
Of course, there are many types of celebrity sex tapes. There are many that were stolen, leaked to the illegally, only to be pulled. There are the sex tapes that were initially released illegally until a deal was struck so everyone got paid. And then there are the phony sex tapes in which the participants pretend the action is spontaneous, but it’s all highly scripted.
Here are the 12 most common celebrity sex tape searches, ranked by the Google Insight Index. The numbers measure the video’s peak search percentages among sex tapes.
12. Hulk Hogan (2.3)
Radio personality Todd Clem (aka Bubba The Love Sponge) was good friends with wrestling legend Hulk Hogan. Really good friends. Heck, he can be heard on the sex tape encouraging his wife and Hogan to ‘do their thing’ while he’s in the other room. He’s later heard telling his wife ‘If we ever need to retire, here’s our ticket’. Not so much.
After a clip from their sex tape was released in 2012 on Gawker, Hogan launched a lawsuit that led to an apology from Clem. Still, if you search hard for it, you can still find portions of this lurking on the web. The lesson in this story? Don’t trust a guy named Bubba The Love Sponge.
11. Gena Lee Nolin (2.9)
An early addition to the sex tape craze, this 2006 amateur video features the Baywatch beauty taking orders from her then-husband Greg Fahlman. Filmed sometime in the 1990s, Nolin is heard complaining about her recently augmented breasts before engaging in various sex acts. Both parties have claimed not to know how the video tape got leaked to the internet, though an ex-girlfriend of Fahlman has been listed as a possible culprit.
10. Eve (3.1)
More than a decade old, this sex tape of the rapper with boyfriend/producer/reality star Stevie J is still popular. Its leak resulted in accusations from both sides. She said he leaked the tape. He said her girlfriends did it. Either way, the popular tape did little to further each other’s careers. Eve has described the experience as hurtful and embarrassing.
9. John Edwards (3.2)
While it didn’t technically ruin Edward’s presidential chances, this tape did make him look like a real jerk. The married candidate’s long-time affair with campaign photographer Rielle Hunter resulted in a child – and a 2010-released sex tape of the politician with a very pregnant Hunter. He denied it. Then he confirmed the affair. The tape was eventually destroyed by court-order.
8. Colin Farrell (3.6)
Farrell had to sue model ex-girlfriend Nicole Narain to stop the release of a 14 minute sex tape shot around 2003. In the video, the Irish actor appeared in a small apartment with a bald head – – likely from his role as Bullseye in Daredevil (well, at least some good footage came out of that superhero flop…). This year, Farrell called the experience of testifying to stop the clip’s release as ‘horrifying’. While it remains notorious, not a lot of people have seen this video beyond a few still frames.
7. Tonya Harding & Jeff Gillooly (4.2)
Not long after skater Harding and her husband Jeff Gillooly were implicated in the leg ‘whacking’ of rival Nancy Kerrigan, Gillooly sold a sex tape to a TV tabloid show (frame photos eventually popped up in Penthouse).
Though called a ‘wedding’ video, the tape actually featured a drunk Harding wearing a wedding dress on Halloween. It often shows up on ‘Worst Sex Video’ lists though it remains a popular download. As career moves go for Harding, this one does probably rank ahead of Celebrity Boxing.
6. Minka Kelly (4.5)
The actress known for Friday Night Lights and The Butler became the victim of a bitter ex-boyfriend. In 2012, the jilted lover was said to be shopping a tape that featured a very young (perhaps too young) Minka, circa 1998, though it remains difficult to find on the internet. That didn’t stop 4.5 per cent of you sex tape fans from trying to find it, though.
5. Tulisa Contostavlos (4.9)
The British singer/actress and judge on the British The X-Factor also suffered from the revenge sex tape treatment in 2012. A film showing the singer performing a short bit of oral play was ‘leaked’ to the internet.
The usual legal wrangling resulted in halting its distribution and the boyfriend apologized – but the damage was done. Tulisa considers this the turning point in a downward career spiral.
4. Kendra Wilkinson (8.4)
A hugely popular nude model, Hugh Hefner arm-candy and reality star, Kendra filmed a sex tape back in 2005 along with her boyfriend at the time. It suddenly became an internet sensation in 2010 when it was leaked, and was then sold under the title Kendra Exposed.
She threatened a lawsuit, but apparently a deal was struck with the tape’s distributor Vivid Entertainment. Rumours persist she had been shopping sex tapes for years through her own company, and the ‘leak’ was intentional.
3. Pamela Anderson (7.6)
Another celebrity who received a career boost from their sex tape was Pamela Anderson, though it wasn’t her doing. A tape of Anderson and then-husband Tommy Lee on their honeymoon was stolen from their house in 1995, eventually popping up on the internet.
The usual lawsuit resulted, with the couple eventually brokering a deal with the distribution company. A second sex tape with Anderson and Poison front man Bret Michaels has also showed up on the internet (with frames also appearing in Penthouse Magazine) despite Michaels suing to have it blocked. Of course, once it’s on the internet, it’s there forever.
2. Paris Hilton (11.3)
This tape made the hotel heiress a celebrity, and made night vision sex videos an actual porn genre. Leaked to the internet in 2003, the tape featured Hilton and ex-boyfriend Rick Salomon, both of whom denied releasing the tape.
Hilton sued the company that distributed the tape. So did Salomon, who also sued the Hilton family for tarnishing his reputation. Eventually, it was all settled with Salomon himself distributing the video under the title One Night In Paris. Sounds classy. Hilton got $400,000 plus a chunk of the sales profits. It was the most downloaded sex tape till Hilton’s once-bff, a gal named Kardashian, came along with her offering…
1. Kim Kardashian (14.8)
Forget Paris and Pamela. No one has benefitted more from a sex tape than Kardashian, who was just a rich socialite when this video was leaked in 2007. Called Kim K. Superstar, the well-shot tape was actually filmed in 2003 and featured Kardashian with then-boyfriend Ray J.. Though she sued initially, a deal eventually was struck that earned her millions for sales and made her a star. And it continues to be searched for and viewed to this day. Just this week, distributor Vivid Entertainment claimed downloads of 93 million, making it the most watched porn video ever. Ever!