Does anybody really look good when they are having sex? I imagine that even if you think you are looking hot, it’s probably a lot more sweaty and messy looking than you imagine in your head. That’s why the idea of a sex tape of yourself leaking has to be absolutely terrifying, especially if you are one of the most prominent members of society. The last thing you want is that to be your reputation because, as you’re going to learn through this piece, releasing a sex tape is also a pretty good way to get people talking about you. While some people on this list were able to bounce back and reinvent their image, doing so is easier said than done.
There is no doubt that some of the people on this list profited off of their sex tapes. Some of them even literally sold the rights away! Others on the list were furious and took legal action. Fortunately, if you’re a prominent member of society, you can probably afford a pretty good lawyer!
The people on this list had much bigger problems to worry about than how they looked during the act because these are the 10 messiest aftermaths of celebrity sex tape scandals.
10 Colin Farrell
Colin Farrell has a sex tape out there that features him and his girlfriend Nicole Narain, a former Playboy model. The video is 13 minutes long and was reportedly distributed without Farrell’s permission. As a result, he sued the Internet Commerce Group (ICG) and Narain. While she claimed she would work with Colin to keep the tape private, he believed that she instead attempted to release it to damage his acting career and to profit off of the film.
They eventually reached a confidential settlement in 2006. While Colin has continued to act, including a role in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Nicole’s last notable appearance was when she appeared on Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew.
9 Tulisa Contostavlos
Tulisa Contostavlos had a lot to be worried about when she first found out a sex tape of her was potentially going to be released. Only 23 at the time, Tulisa was a new host on The X-Factor and was afraid the scandal would ruin her career. The footage featured a 19-year-old Tulisa performing oral sex on her boyfriend but there is no intercourse on the tape. Thankfully, she was granted an injunction that legally blocked any further distribution of the tape in any way.
While her job on The X-Factor was not affected, Tulisa has had some ups and downs in her life since then, including an assault charge in 2014 and an arrest for drunk driving in September 2015, after crashing her Ferrari.
8 Tonya Harding
For all the people on this list who were going to have their most private moments leaked, there is no doubt that Tonya Harding knew what she was doing. In 1994, she and her then husband had created a sex tape and decided to sell it to Penthouse in exchange for $200,000 plus royalties. This was around the time that Nancy Kerrigan, Harding’s teammate, was attacked, which was the most newsworthy moment of Harding’s career. The attack was linked to Harding, and she was banned from the U.S. Figure Skating Championships for life.
Tonya bounced around different avenues for a while, before realizing, in 2002, she wanted to try to become a boxer! Unfortunately, she also has asthma and only boxed in 7 bouts, having an overall record of 4-3-0.
7 Fred Durst
Fred Durst was not super happy that his sex tape was leaked to Gawker. Durst claims that hackers remotely accessed his computer and pulled the video to release online. The sex tape featured Durst having sex with a former girlfriend for roughly 3 minutes. While many people on this list agreed to sell their sex tape, Durst was not interested, responding, “Absolutely not, I don’t wanna make any money off this. This is ridiculous."
While it is not clear on how the ordeal ended, Durst ended up suing Gawker for roughly $70 million in damages due to the film being released.
It’s hard to say if this deterred his career, but one thing is for sure, if you’re famous, you may end up being a target.
6 Paris Hilton
It is hard to think of the name Paris Hilton and not have your mind go back to where it all started: One Night in Paris. The sex tape exploded and is arguably one of the most popular sex tapes of all time, selling over 600,000 copies by 2006. Hilton stated publicly that she was ‘out of it’ during the taping, and sued Rick Salomon over the release of the tape. It was reported that she was awarded $400,000 and a percentage of the profits, but she has also stated that it was dirty money and that she never received a dime of it.
The film also won Best Selling Title of the Year and Best Overall Marketing Campaign for Individual Product at the 2005 Adult Film Awards.
Even though the incident happened years ago, Paris has stated that she has to live with it for the “rest of my life and explain it to my children. And it's something that's changed my life forever and I'll never be able to erase it."
5 John Edwards
If you are a politician, one of the last things you want is a political scandal that involves sex or cheating on your wife, especially when you promote such great family values. Edwards bid at being a prominent politician or potential president came crumbling down when a sex tape was reported to have been made between him and his campaign worker, Rielle Hunter, who was also pregnant with Edwards' child.
The tape was allowed to be destroyed in court, but the pressure around everything is ultimately why Edwards admitted to having the affair. The tape may not be risqué, but it had huge ramifications.
4 Rob Lowe
Rob Lowe has had a career spanning several decades, but that doesn’t mean that he hasn’t had his fair share of controversy. In 1989, Lowe had a sex tape emerge of him having sex with two women, one of whom was only 16 years old. After the scandal broke, Lowe recalled how cameras kept a 24-hour watch on him for days at a time, trying to get an interview.
Lowe talked with Oprah about the impact that the tape had on his drinking, stating, “Because what it ends up doing is accelerating my alcohol [addiction] to where I finally get sober. I have been able to have the rest of my life that I'm so blessed with, which is now 20 years of sobriety."
I suppose sometimes you need to hit rock bottom to realize how you can turn it all around. While not at the time, Lowe did end up calling his sex tape to be one of the greatest things that ever happened to him.
3 Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan has had arguably the biggest fallout of anybody on this list. His sex tape was released without his permission to the website Gawker. On the tape, Hogan was also caught saying some pretty racist things, and it led to the termination of his job with the WWE. The video was a complete violation of privacy and, like Durst, Hogan sued Gawker for releasing the tape. It was recently settled, ruling that Hogan will receive more than $100 million as a result of the suit. Clearly, one of the biggest leg-drops that he’s ever given out in his career!
2 Verne Troyer
If there is one person on this list who you may not have thought had a sex tape, it's Verne Troyer. In 2008, a sex tape was released featuring Troyer and his former girlfriend Ranae Shrider. The video was purposefully leaked to TMZ by Shrider. While there were attempts to sell the tape, Verne sued TMZ and the online rental company SugarDVD for invasion of privacy and copyright infringement.
At the time of the lawsuit, it was believed that TMZ profited roughly $20 million as a result of the tape. They eventually reached a settlement, that also did not include any restrictions on TMZ, who won an approval to restore the tape’s existence.
1 Kim Kardashian
It can be crazy to think that if you go back to 2005, the Kardashians were barely a thing in society. Sure, Kim Kardashian was still the daughter of Robert Kardashian and stepdaughter of Bruce Jenner, but we all know it was Kim’s sex tape that truly put her (and the family) on the map. Filmed with her then boyfriend, Ray J, the film went onto be one of the best sellers for Vivid Entertainment.
Kim ended up settling with the company for $5 million and Vivid agreed to stop selling the sex tape. To Kim’s credit, she has gone onto excel in countless areas of business and fashion that would be enough to make anyone be proud of her.