Top Ten Hollywood Sex Tapes

You’d think Hollywood would hate the very idea of sex tapes. After all, non-professionals putting out no-budget movies would be cutting into their business. But movies about sex tapes? Hollywood can’t get enough. They even made a movie just called Sex Tape (it's awful). For the legit movie industry, it's the best of both worlds: they get all the thrill of illicit sex but with loads of moralising and finger wagging to make sure the audience doesn’t get the wrong idea when it comes to filming themselves having a bit of consensual fun. But how does the Hollywood version stack up – as it were – against the real thing?


10: John Edwards:

This US Democratic senator was seen by many as a serious Presidential candidate right up until the moment word got out about a sex tape involving him and his mistress, who was reportedly pregnant with his child at the time. Awww.

Fictional equivalent: This "arrgh, a sex tape featuring a powerful man" story is the kind of thing that turns up in political thrillers a lot: '40s-set crime drama Mulholland Falls is as good an example of “oh no, I’m a famous dude and they’ve got footage of me having sex” movie-making as any. Better really, as the sex tape – well, ye olde black and white sex film in this case – stars Jennifer Connelly. Oh, and John Malkovich. In Hollywood, sex always comes at a price.


9: J Lo:

Wait, J. Lo had a sex tape? How come I didn’t hear about this? Unlike everyone else on this list, when word started getting around that Jennifer Lopez’s first husband Ojani Noa was planning to release a movie called “How I Married Jennifer Lopez: The JLo and Ojani Noa Story”, she didn’t mess around or give the green light. Instead, she slapped him with a $10 million dollar lawsuit claiming it was a breach of their confidentiality agreement. And to date, that’s been the end of that.

Fictional Equivalent: Road Trip. When a guy accidentally mails his sex tape to his long-distance relationship girlfriend, he decides to drive cross-country to stop her from seeing it. It’s not quite the same as dealing out a $10 million dollar lawsuit to stop anyone from seeing it, but it is still putting in a fair amount of hard work to keep your hard work from going public.


8: Colin Farrell:

Oh look, an impossibly handsome Hollywood star made a sex tape with a Playboy playmate. Wait, he didn’t want this getting out?

Fictional Equivalent: Surprisingly, Farrell has a history of having his nude scenes (and sex scenes) cut from his films: reportedly he was naked in the 2003 indie film At Home at the End of the World but the scene was cut for being “too distracting”, while his gay sex scene in Alexander was originally ditched and only later restored for the director’s cut. Still, he let it all hang out in Tigerland and Triage, so it’s not like he’s protecting any state secrets here.

7: Dustin Diamond:

If at any point in the 20th Century you’d written a science fiction story about a grim dystopian future in which the wacky comic relief from bland teen sitcom Saved By The Bell not only made a sex tape, but released it himself, you’d have been hunted down and killed by an angry mob for destroying humanity’s will to go on. But here we are in 2014 and the “Screech Sex Tape” is just part of our lives now. Even the Mad Max films didn’t suggest things would get this bad.

Fictional Equivalent: That scene in Hardcore where George C Scott goes to see a porn film and discovers it’s his daughter up on the screen. There’s some things you just don’t ever want to see.


6: Hulk Hogan:

Yeah, professional wrestler and star of Suburban Commando and Santa with Muscles made a sex tape. It gets worse: the lady involved was the then-wife of his best friend. It gets worse than that: his “best friend” is named Bubba the Love Sponge. Do we have to mention Hogan was probably set up by the pair to create a sex tape they could cash in on?

Fictional Equivalent:  The 2013 horror movie Sx_Tape, about a young couple who decide to film themselves having sex in abandoned hospital The Vergerus Institute for Troubled Women. Sure, the Hulkster didn’t film himself having sex in a haunted death trap, but the concept of a fun evening out that turned out horribly wrong is presumably one he’s pretty familiar with these days.


5: Tom Sizemore:

During one of the many low ebbs in a career that’s consisted of nothing but low ebbs since around 2003, Sizemore released a sex tape showing himself having sex with multiple women. In a sign of just how grim the whole situation was, the tape was titled Sex Scandal Sizemore, and not some pun-tastic version of one of his earlier hits like True Romance, Play it to the Bone, Black Hawk Down, The Relic, Strange Days, or – and come on guys, were you asleep at the wheel or what – Rude Awakening.

Fictional Equivalent: The film Paparazzi doesn’t just contain an scene where Sizemore’s character makes a sex tape, it also features Sizemore as perhaps the most sleazy and repellent “photo journalist” in movie history, a man more than happy to cause car accidents and harass innocent bystanders if it means he gets some images he can make some money from. So yeah, typecasting is clearly still an issue in Hollywood.


4: Paris Hilton: 

Now this is how you do a pun title right. One of the classics of the genre, One Night in Paris turned billionaire heiress and party girl Paris Hilton into a billionaire heiress and party girl that most people had heard of. It also briefly made her a “legit” actress – House of Wax, anyone – in a move seemingly designed largely to make her sex tape antics look Oscar-worthy by comparison. 

Fictional Equivalent: Where to start? Hilton’s sex tape, with its creepy night-video camerawork that made both participants look like zombie aliens, was a genuine pop culture moment that created references and parodies all over the place. Surprisingly, House of Wax didn’t go with a parody when it was time to bump her character off – then again, a slasher movie starring Paris Hilton is pretty much a parody already.


3: Pamela Anderson: 

You know what? The first time your sex tape leaks, yeah, that’s a once off. If it happens again? And this time you’re the one selling it? You’re a professional. No-one’s saying that’s a bad thing, but, you know, there’s a difference between starring in Barb Wire and having sex on video with the lead singer of Poison.

Fictional Equivilant: Auto Focus, the seedy look at actor Bob Crane (Col. Hogan from Hogan’s Heroes) and his real life obsession with filming himself having a whole lot of sex. Though in his case it actually made him less famous and then eventually dead, so clearly he was doing something wrong there.


2: Kim Kardashian: 

It’s difficult to believe there was a time before Kim Kardashian was famous, which means it’s hard to remember exactly what she was famous for before she was just, you know, famous. Just kidding: obviously she first became famous for making a sex tape, otherwise she wouldn’t be on this list.

Fictional Equivalent: Sex, Lies and Videotape. No so much for the content (the “sex tapes” don’t even contain actual sex in this talky relationship drama), but for the way it made the creative genius behind it – in this case, director Stephen Soderbergh – into a long-lasting, bright-burning star. The message here is, if done right, making your first appearance on the world stage in a vehicle with the words “sex” and “tape” in the title can really pay off.


1: Rob Lowe:


How times have changed: back in the 1980s having a sex tape get out to the public was generally considered pretty much the worst PR move you could make short of committing murder. So when Rob Lowe’s sex tape leaked – and worse, it was revealed that one of the willing participants was under age – pretty much everyone figured his career was dead. Then he went and made a movie (Bad Influence) in which he played an evil sleaze who videotaped his friend / victim (James Spader) having sex. C’mon dude, enough is enough. 

But it turned out he’d stumbled on the way to make a sex tape work for you: you own your actions, exploit them in the media, and in no time at all everyone’s back on side. Lowe’s still getting work twenty years later: why, he’s even in Sex Tape



Anthony Morris

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