The Best (And Worst) Celebrity Sex Tapes

Want to know which are the ultimate must-see celebrity sex tapes….and those to avoid?

For better or worse, popular culture is defined by our obsession with the private lives of the rich and famous. From shelves full of magazines exposing these stars in unflattering and uncompromising positions to gossip columns, tabloid scandals and undercover documentaries there is little we don’t know about the comings and goings of our celebrities. However, there is nothing more private in life than what goes on in the bedroom (and beyond)….that it until it goes viral on the internet!

In this feature we take a look at the history of the celebrity sex tape and check out some of the most infamous and even those that should be erased from the annals of history!

What is a Celebrity Sex Tape?

For the avoidance of doubt, and for those people who live under rocks, a celebrity sex tape is a term to describe any footage of a public figure where they are engaging in sexual activity of any kind. This could be solo masturbation to a bacchanalian orgy, homosexual or straight, vanilla or downright kinky.

They differ from porn movies as though they may feature porn stars, they are actually home-made, amateur videos; or should be. The truth is that some ‘scandalous’ footage that has hit the headlines over the years has been found to be staged.

Sex tapes featuring celebrities are often filmed with the consent of the star themselves and are made between consenting adults who are in a relationship. Think of Kim Kardashian’s infamous video in which she and her (then) boyfriend are seen having sex. Kim knew the footage was being taken but she clearly never intended for it to be released to a global audience. The circumstances behind the release of this video several years after it was made remain controversial but there was no coercion or secret filming involved.

Not all celebrity sex tapes are captured this way and some are filmed without the consent of the main protagonist.

However they have been filmed, the footage often makes it way to the public domain via some kind of infringement of privacy. Tapes can be stolen by disgruntled friends or employees (Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee), sold by hard-up ex-lovers (Paris Hilton and Rick Salomon), accidentally discovered (Usher) or leaked by the star’s agents.

In cases where private footage has been obtained illegally, stars usually sue and try to prevent the videos from being made available to  the public. However, some will use the opportunity to reap publicity benefits and even broker their own deal to get a cut of the royalties.

Despite the fact that most footage of celebrities having sex are actually available in digital format, the word ‘sex tape’ still exists and refers to the media (VHS) which predates the internet and DVDs. Which brings us neatly on to a brief history of the celebrity sex tape…

A History of the Celebrity Sex Tape

Whilst our obsession with the private lives of celebrities is no new thing, the sex tape (for pretty obvious reasons) can only be dated back to the invention of recording technology. It’s easy to forget a time before smartphones gave us all the ability to capture instant action in HD quality but before these ubiquitous devices became mainstream, we of course had webcams, DV and VHS camcorders and even (way back) home cine cameras.

Believe it or not but the first development of home movie making actually started in 1898 with the Birtac format. Developed by the British cinematographer Birt Acres, amateur film making was the reserve of the moneyed minority but became very popular across Europe in the early Twentieth Century. This trend was given a boost in the 1900s when the French company Pathé Frères (Pathos) introduced another format with their 9.5mm films.

a history of celebrity sex tapes
Sex ‘tapes’ predate the VHS era and porn can be found on almost every format of film throughout the last 120 years. Image via Flickr.

Largely unknown outside of Europe, and requiring pretty specialist equipment, it wasn’t until the 1930s with Eastman Kodak’s introduction of the 8mm format that amateur filming became more widespread in the United States.

Kodak would go on to invent several other popular formats including the Super 8 and Single 8 films that would dominate the home movie recording industry during the 1960s and 1970s.

By the late 1970s and early 1980s, the VHS revolution brought mass camcorder technology to the market so with virtually every home owning a playback method, tapes could reach larger audiences.

From here, things get exponentially easier for home movie fans with the development of digital recording. Add to this greater portability and smaller sizes and this technology has become an omnipresent one in modern society.

The First Celebrity Sex Tape?

As for where this all fits in with our celebrity sex tapes…..the advent of home movie making from the 1890s right through to current day has meant that this sophisticated technology has been used for amateur porn production. From as early as the 1900s you can find examples of vintage film makers who turned their attention to capturing something a lot more adult than their holidays.

Sometimes known as stag reels, early footage from these blue movies depicts explicit and graphic sexual acts often featuring amateurs. However, it is from one of these films that we have one of the earliest celebrity sex tapes.

a history of celebrity sex tapes marilyn monroe
Marilyn Monroe (allegedly) made a sex tape before she rose to fame. Image via PickPik.

Reportedly featuring a young Marilyn Monroe and made in the 1940s, there are no public examples of the 16mm film and many are dubious about its authenticity. Whilst the grainy footage isn’t unequivocally that of the blonde starlet, the fact remains that some young and aspiring actresses of that time had been ‘persuaded’ into porn before hitting the mainstream.

Celebrity Sex Tape Leaks

Of course, not all of the pornographic examples of celebrities having sex were intended for public edification and there is long history of scandalous leaks featuring the very private goings on of the rich and famous.

The first mass-media example of this is undoubtedly that infamous honeymoon tape ‘starring’ Pamela Anderson and her (then) husband Tommy Lee. Filmed without their knowledge, the footage was stolen from their home in the mid 90s and released to the world.

The disgruntled electrician responsible for the theft reportedly made over $77 million in the first twelve months of the video’s release yet Anderson and Lee (apparently) never made a dime from the movie. Contradictory reports suggest that the Lees settled with the video distribution company and the resulting sex tapes were legitimately made widely available.

a history of celebrity sex tapes pamela anderson
Tommy Lee (image via Wikimedia) and Pamela Anderson (image via Wikimedia).

There are hundreds of examples of stolen or leaked footage available online reportedly featuring the private sex acts of celebrities. Whilst many are acknowledged to be real, there are also plenty of deepfake celebrity sex tapes. This worrying development in AI technology has made it harder for the real deal to be distinguishable from the fakes. The only real way to know if they are or if they aren’t is usually the star’s own response.

And there are plenty of cases where famous people have acted swiftly to prevent leaked footage from going public. Cases where celebrities have sued the distributors, seeking damages and an injunction to ensure they never see the light of day. From stars as diverse as Hulk Hogan or Jennifer Lopez, there is reportedly stolen evidence of their sexual activities available online although their presence is in contravention of these injunctions.

Leaks vs Publicity Stunt

Leaks of private tapes can be incredibly damaging for anyone but for those that rely on their public image as currency, they can be devastating to a career…..or it can actually prove the making of them.

So much so that there is evidence to suggest that some sex tapes featuring celebrities have been purposefully ‘leaked’ as a way to advance their career and gain some media attention.

Likewise, there are some celebrities who, knowing the value a sex tape can have on their career, have willingly released footage and even brokered a lucrative deal around the royalties.

The Best (and Worst) Celebrity Sex Tapes

So, leaked footage aside, which are the most memorable celebrity sex tapes made public?

The invasion of privacy and unauthorized release of personal sex tapes remains unambiguous and highly controversial. Theft of, or obtaining, private footage without consent is a serious crime which is why we have chosen not to link to any of these videos. However, those authorized and legitimate movies are available through popular tube channels or even on DVD at online stores.

Kim Kardashian

best celebrity sex tapes kim kardashian
The sex tape made by Kim Kardashian is thought to have launched her career.

It wouldn’t be right to start anywhere else but with the Queen of the Celebrity Sex Tapes herself, Kim Kardashian.

Way back in 2002 before the Kardashians were a ‘thing’, Kim made a sex tape with her then boyfriend, Ray J. Then in 2007, just months before Keeping Up With The Kardashians began to air, the tape ‘found’ its way to adult video distribution company, Vivid Entertainment.

The timing has been widely criticized with most people believing that the whole ‘leak’ was one huge publicity stunt. And, in a jaw-dropping moment of maternal management, media mogul and Kardashian Mom Kris Jenner reportedly negotiated the sale of the video and bagged the family between $10 million and $15 million in rights!

Though Kim was allegedly against the film being released, the ensuing results of her instant porn stardom are not without huge benefits. There is no doubt whatsoever that Kim Kardashian is an accomplished businesswoman who has created a brand around, not just herself but, her entire family but many will speculate that the real reason for their mammoth success is all about that infamous sex video.

Released under the title Kim Kardashian, Superstar, this celebrity sex tape is one of the most enduring ones on the planet and though she has never appeared in any other porn movies or sex tapes, she remains one of the most searched for adult stars online. In 2019, over a decade after the film’s release, she was still the second most popular celebrity on Pornhub receiving more than 18 million searches! She is even in the top 35 porn stars in the world……despite not actually being a porn star!

In all, the limited content available on Pornhub for Kim Kardashian has been watched more than 332 million times!

Depicting the pair having sex whilst on holiday in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico the whole video runs to a length of 91 minutes (uncut) and features various hardcore scenes of the pair in action.

Paris Hilton

best celebrity sex tapes paris hilton
Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Second up is another of the big hitters when it comes to famous celebrity sex tapes.

Media personality, businesswoman and socialite Paris Hilton is no shrinking violet when it comes to news headlines and this XXX home movie remains one of the most talked-about sex tapes.

The film (dubbed One Night in Paris) was sold by Hilton’s then boyfriend Rick Salomon in 2004 shortly after the star’s realty TV show The Simple Life was aired.

Partially recorded using night vision and in a grainy video, the pair are seen engaging in some no-holds barred sex.

After the video was released, Hilton claimed she was ‘out of it’ when the action took place and Salomon tried to sue her for defamation. Hilton counter-sued for the release of the tape and was awarded $400k. She also tried to sue Red Light District, the distribution company behind its release but her suit was not successful.

The video rights have been bought up by Vivid and the footage remains a popular porn choice across tube channels like XVideos and XNXX. On Pornhub alone there are several versions of the same video which, together, have been viewed over 71 million times!

Farrah Abraham

best celebrity sex tapes farrah abraham and james deen
Farrah Abraham (Image via Wikimedia) & James Deen (Image via Wikimedia).

One of the stars of the MTV reality show Teen Mom, Farrah Abraham was the center of her own performance in 2013 when she shot an explicit movie with porn star James Deen.

Abraham initially claimed that the footage had been leaked against her will, despite having already received a paycheck from the company she made it with. A thoroughly professional production and distributed through Vivid Entertainment, Abraham suffered a small amount of backlash over the use of the video as a marketing stunt. She was however congratulated by some media reporters over her decision to “celebrate (her) awesome body”.

The tape was filmed in such a way as to make it look like a private sex tape but pro-porn star James Deen was actually hired to co-star.

The scandal deepened at the time when it was revealed Abraham had already tried to sell some of her own homemade sex tapes but was turned down. Vivid Entertainment (apparently) offered her this opportunity to make a more salable ‘home movie’.

Since the success of Kim Kardashian’s sex tape in 2007, Abraham knew exactly what she was doing and the release of Back Door Mom (as the film was titled on release) has seen her launch a lucrative new career as an adult entertainer. She now regularly makes appearances at strip clubs and has her own line of sexy lingerie.

Clearly filmed with her knowledge using a mix of static and handheld cams Back Door Mom is over an hour long and features some pretty hardcore action including some great masturbation scenes in the back of a car. She can also be seen in an apartment engaging in doggy-style before giving Deen a blow job.

Tonya Harding

best celebrity sex tapes tonya harding
Tonya Harding practicing in 1994. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Tonya Harding rose to fame as an Olympic figure skater but has become embroiled in several controversies over the years; notably in the sporting scandal which inspired the 2017 I, Tonya. Allegedly to hinder her competitor Nancy Kerrigan’s progress in a competition, Harding’s ex-husband Jeff Gillooly orchestrated an attack on Harding’s rival in 1994. There was one hell of a media storm about the incident and eventually Harding pleaded guilty to conspiracy to hinder prosecution and was banned from the sport for life.

It was with Gillooly that Harding made a sex tape. Filmed on their wedding night in 1990 the pair decided to sell the footage to Penthouse with each reportedly receiving $200k in royalties.

It is interesting to note that the release of the tape coincided with the whole Harding/Kerrigan scandal and is another example of how sex tapes can be used when it comes to drawing media attention. Certainly, the publishers saw better distribution figures but the heat of the competition scandal storm was drawn for a while while the media focused on the sex tape instead. Clever, eh?

Tami Erin

best celebrity sex tapes tami erin
Image via Wikipedia Commons.

Best known for her role in the 1988 movie The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking, Tami Erin was the center of a different type of celebrity sex tape in 2013.

A former boyfriend attempted to sell the footage of the pair having sex and though Erin fought hard to keep it from being released, she was unable to do so. However, Erin was able to take control of the sale to prevent her ex-partner from profiting from the video.

Beating him to the punch, Tami Erin The SEX Tape was sold on the star’s own terms.

As ‘celebrity’ sex tapes goes, this one is pretty good, despite the fact that few people have actually heard of Tami Erin. It starts with Erin clad in sexy black lingerie giving her boyfriend a long and seductive blow job before he takes her (first) doggy-style followed by some rough hardcore action.

Amy Fisher

best celebrity sex tapes amy fisher
Images via Wikimedia Commons.

Fisher was just seventeen when she first came to celebrity status as the infamous “Long Island Lolita”. Shooting and injuring the wife of her then lover Joey Buttafuoco, Amy Fisher was charged with first degree attempted murder but latterly plead guilty to the lesser crime of first-degree aggravated assault. The whole incident became national news and Fisher was a household name.

Serving seven years in prison and eventually being paroled in 1999, she returned to a relatively normal life before a fresh scandal was sparked.

In 2007, it is alleged that Fisher herself launched a major re-branding exercise with the ‘leaked’ release of nude pictures taken by her husband, Louis Bellera.

Later the same year, several videos and additional nude images of Fisher were made available through Red Light District Video

Fisher initially attempted to sue the distribution company but by November 2007 had launched her own porn site and was directing traffic to a pay-per-view porno called Amy Fisher: Caught On Tape. In January 2008 Fisher had reportedly settled with Red Light and was completing promotional tours for the company.

She went on to star in several follow up films including Amy Fisher: Totally Nude & Exposed, Deep Inside Amy Fisher and The Making of Amy Fisher: Porn Star. She also signed a deal with Lee Entertainment to undertake a strip-tease tour of the U.S.

In 2011, Fisher retired herself from the adult film industry but that initial celebrity sex tape was what started it all.

Leola Bell

best celebrity sex tapes leola bell
Image via Instagram.

Glamour model and actress Bell was catapulted into the media spotlight when she famously appeared as the January/February 2012 centerfold in Playmate. Not such a notorious and attention grabbing endeavor you might say but this was THE issue on which Lindsay Lohan appeared nude on the cover. ‘Channeling’ Marilyn Monroe, Lohan boosted sales for the top shelf magazine and as a result Bell herself also became the center of attention.

Not one to miss an opportunity to hit a hot market, adult distributors Red Light District used this chance to release a previously unseen sex tape featuring Leola Bell.

The star who would go on to appear in The Fast and The Furious franchise had made the video before her stint as Playmate of the Month and was surprised when it came to light but had willingly performed in the adult movie.

Featuring explicit acts including anal and a threesome, the footage for Leola Bell: Caught on Tape was shot way before she rose to fame and is an example of early porn encounters catching up with you!

Johnny Carson

best and worst celebrity sex tapes johnny carson
Late Night talk show host Johnny Carson starred in a XXX home movie. Image via Wikimedia.

Filmed in 1970s, the late-night talk show host apparently recorded a sex session with one of his wives and the footage shows them doing some downright dirty stuff.

The tape went on sale to private bidders and, due to legal reasons, has yet to make its way to mass media attention.

The whole thing runs to around 25 minutes and shows a young dark-haired Carson masturbating by a pool. The scene then cuts to the bedroom where Carson shows off his other late night skills and, apparently, one which shows him sporting a huge cock….and we’re talking porn star endowed here with one source claiming it was over 10 inches long.

There are few places you are ever likely to see the footage and few stars you are less likely to want to watch on the job but the film eventually found the light of day in 2014 proving that there is no safe period when these things can’t resurface!

Eric Dane

best celebrity sex tapes eric danes
Image via Wikimedia.

Grey’s Anatomy star, Eric Dane, hit the headlines in 2009 when a video was released showing he and his then-wife Rebecca Gayheart having a threesome with former beauty queen Kari Ann Peniche.

The scenes were filmed in their bathtub sex tape and Dane has no regrets about making the video. Speaking to Glamour in August 2019, he said:

“Looking back now, was it a mistake? Absolutely not….Three consenting adults, one of them being my wife? I wasn’t doing anything wrong … I didn’t regret it. I have no regrets nor do I make any apologies for my life experience. It’s my life experience and I am at peace with all of it.”

Vince Neil

best celebrity sex tapes vince neil
Image via Wikimedia.

Motley Crue frontman Vince Neil was the center of his own sex tape scandal in 1998 when an hour-long video emerged of him getting busy with porn-star Janine Lindemulder. The pair are also seen in action with Penthouse Pet, Brandy Ledford.

Initially leaked but later released officially by Vivid Entertainment in 1998, the video was actually made in 1993. And, whilst many people actually wanted to see band mate and drummer, Tommy Lee doing the deed with Pamela Anderson, the sight of Vince Neil’s tackle can never be erased once you’ve seen it.

The whole video looks badly staged and doesn’t go down in history as one of the best celebrity sex tapes ever, even with a Penthouse Pet and porn star to up the appeal. Best missed in our opinion.

Kid Rock and Scott Stapp

best celebrity sex tapes kid rock scott stapp
Kid Rock (image via Pixabay) and Scott Stapp (image via Wikimedia).

Filmed in 1999 during a tour-bus hop-on orgy Stapp and Rock were captured getting busy with four willing groupies. It’s not a diamond performance to watch but is certainly an eye-opener as an insight on the perks of that rock-and-roll lifestyle.

The footage appeared at a fortuitous moment in Stapp’s career when his second solo album was due to be launched and the cynical will believe this to be no coincidence. Certainly, Kid Rock wasn’t best pleased about the situation, blaming Stapp for ‘losing’ the tape and claiming that the performance was all about him!

Another one to give a wide berth to.

Chelsea Handler

best celebrity sex tapes chelsea handler
Image via Wikimedia/David Shankbone.

And finally, we end with a celebrity sex tape that was pretty big news but turned out to be more of a hoax than a hornfest.

Hitting the headlines in 2010, news of comedian Chelsea Handler’s sex tape caused a stir with few daring to believe that the late-night talk show host could be seen in full action. It turned out that the news of the tape doing the rounds on the internet was greatly exaggerated and that it was never actually released.

Though some scenes exist in shady parts of the web, Handler denies that the footage is real and claims that it was a joke that she had been using as an audition piece for years.

The story of the ‘sex tape’ have never truly been buried but Chelsea has joked about it on her shows though some Hollywood agents (apparently) claim that the tape was used to help her get work early on her career.

Sold Out vs Cashed In

Those last claims about Chelsea Handler using a sex tape to further her career are wholly unsubstantiated but, yet again, prove that sex sells and that some people aren’t afraid to cash in on their own private lives.

However, not all celebrities have had the luxury of that choice and leaks, stolen footage and secret filming remains a problem for those people who live in the public eye. Among many others who have had their very private lives sold out for a quick buck, these celebrities have all faced sex tape scandals against their will:

  • Verne ‘Mini-Me’ Troyer
  • Hulk Hogan
  • Rob Lowe
  • Mindy McCready
  • Usher
  • Kendra Wilkinson

Featured image via PXHere.