Celebrity sex tapes used to mean the end of a career — but now leaked footage can turn people into stars! Even major showbiz figures have managed to survive sex tapes, after decades of Old Hollywood showbiz figures like Joan Crawford desperately trying to cover up their most naked moments. It’s not all happy endings, though, as you’ll see in this roundup of celebs caught on camera…
PAMELA ANDERSON & TOMMY LEE became pioneers in cashing in on sex tapes after footage from their honeymoon was “stolen” in 1995. Both the “Baywatch” star and the Mötley Crüe drummer were at the peak of their fame when the shocking footage was revealed to the world. The celebrity couple started out threatening to sue video distribution company Internet Entertainment Group, but then made a deal for a cut of the profits!
TONYA HARDING tried to make a comeback from her multiple scandals after the success of the “I, Tonya” biopic starring Margot Robbie — and even made it onto “Dancing With the Stars” despite trying to cash in on a porn career! The disgraced Olympics skater joined her ex-husband Jeff Gillooly to sell a sex tape billed as “Tonya Harding’s Honeymoon Night” — which really appeared to feature a drunk Tonya coming home from a Halloween party in a wedding dress.
DUSTIN DIAMOND joined the ranks of disgraced child stars when the former “Saved By the Bell” stooge turned to making porn. Having briefly found fame as bumbling nerd “Screech” on the tween hit, Dustin showed off his other acting skills in a low-budget production titled: “Screeched — Saved by the Smell.”
FARRAH ABRAHAM grew up quickly as a star of MTV’s hit “Teen Mom” series — deciding to move on to a porn career. She first attempted to sell a “leaked” sex tape, but was quickly exposed once porn fans saw her partner was veteran adult actor James Deen. She later complained that “Backdoor Teen Mom” had ruined her life, but soon returned to more work in the adult industry.
TYSON BECKFORD didn’t mind when a woman released a 45-minute tape of him masturbating to a female model during an internet video chat — saying on social media: “I don’t even care…life goes on.” The former Ralph Lauren model couldn’t really deny that it was him on the video, either, since he takes the time to brag about his film work in movies like “Biker Boyz” and “Into the Blue!”
COLIN FARRELL was just starting as a Hollywood leading man when he found himself starring in a leaked sex tape with Playboy model Nicole Narain. He’s even sporting a shaved head that helped fans realize he was caught nude while filming his role as the villainous assassin Bullseye in 2003’s “Daredevil.” The actor reportedly later turned down a $5 million offer to cash in with an official release.
VERNE TROYER found fame as Mini-Me in the “Austin Powers” movies, but seemingly took his own life at the age of 49. His disillusionment with Hollywood included a sex tape scandal — with Verne furious to learn that a former live-in girlfriend had leaked a video of them in bed. Instead of reveling in the exposure, Verne (seen here at a Playboy Mansion party) filed a lawsuit to keep the tape from being released.
TORI SPELLING & DEAN McDERMOTT may be running out of money, but they’ve resisted cashing in on making a sex tape. Instead, they’ve simply hinted that there’s an intimate video waiting to be discovered. Tori wrote in her memoir “Spelling It Like It Is” that a video of their intimate relations on Valentine’s Day 2009 was leaked by a former friend — much to her displeasure, even though she’d first checked the camera to be sure “my angles…were good.”
MEL B was a tween idol with the Spice Girls, but the former Scary Spice had her reputation rocked during her brutal divorce from Stephen Belafonte. A Playboy pin-up had already revealed a wild threesome with the couple, and Stephen threatened to release incriminating videos after the “America’s Got Talent” judge accused him of forcing her into orgies. “They are extremely graphic,” said an insider, “and show Mel as the ringleader!” A deal was later made to be sure Stephen destroyed any footage.
HULK HOGAN had his career body-slammed by a 2007 video of his XXX-rated match with the wife of his best friend, DJ Bubba the Love Sponge! Hulk sued a website for posting the lowlights, but The ENQUIRER had the scoop on how the tape caught the beloved wrestler in a racist rant. That would later lead to a dismissal from the WWE as the Hulkster fought to rebuild his public image.
CHYNA is another wrestling star caught with a sex tape — but it was just part of Joanie Laurer’s new career after posing for Playboy. She shot her own amateur footage with fellow wrestler Sean Waltman in 2004, and the couple made a lucrative deal to release the video as “1 Night in China.” From there, Chyna worked steadily in the adult industry, and was starring as the She-Hulk in comic-book movie porn parodies when she overdosed in 2016.
ROB LOWE nearly became a fleeting ’80s memory when he taped himself having sex with two women — one of them underage — while attending the 1988 Democratic National Convention. He became a pioneer in recovering from the bad publicity after the tape went public , as he went into rehab withalcohol, cocaine and ecstasy addictions. Rob then spent the ‘90s drying out and coming back as a beloved TV star.
JOHN EDWARDS was heading towards the White House when his campaign exploded in scandal in 2007. The ENQUIRER exposed how the candidate fathered a child with filmmaker Rielle Hunter — and then revealed the cheating politician had even made a sex tape with his other woman! The footage wound up in the hands of an aide who tried to cover up the affair by claiming the love child was his, and the loyal employee later agreed to destroy the video.
CHELSEA HANDLER insisted that her “sex tape” was really just steamy footage interspersed into an old audition video for laughs. The footage was still hot enough to get shopped around to porn companies. Fortunately, a potential sale was canceled after RADAR Online exposed the tape’s existence. Chelsea replied: “I would like to say to RadarOnline.com, thanks for ruining my surprise Christmas gift to my staff, and No. 2, it was made as a joke.”
PARIS HILTON swears that she “never made a dollar” off the sex tape that shocked the nation — and the hotel heiress sure didn’t need the money. Her former boyfriend Rick Salomon insists that the footage that became “1 Night in Paris” was stolen from his computer. But, he added, “Paris is an exhibitionist. She doesn’t really care!”
KIM KARDASHIAN launched her own iconic career with a “leaked” video of herself cavorting with her rapper boyfriend Ray J. The torrid tape mysteriously materialized on the web in 2007, and was later sold by Vivid Entertainment as “Kim K, Superstar.” Kim filed a lawsuit and later walked away with $5 million after saying the tape was “humiliating.” Some people, however, remain convinced that momager Kris Jenner was behind the whole lucrative scandal!
KANYE WEST can commiserate with his wife Kim about his own sex scandals — with one leaked video showing the rapper keeping up with one young woman for a full 40 minutes. Kim insists that Kanye won’t be seen like that again, though. When asked if the power couple had ever filmed themselves, she replied: “If we have, it’s never something I want to go public!”
DANIELLE STAUB looked like she was trying to protect her modesty when the “Real Housewives of New Jersey” star went to court over a sex tape in 2009. But just a year after blocking that footage, Danielle was starring in a new video — with rival “Housewife” Jacqueline Laurita going to social media to declare: “Heard from a VERY reliable source that [Danielle] released her OWN sex tape!”