Sex Tapes: Where Are They Now?

Following a settlement last month, John Edwards and Rielle Hunter’s sex tape awaits mutually pursued destruction. Here, the whereabouts of other notorious entries in this singular subgenre of pornography.

Photo: Wenn/Newscomm (Kardashian); UPI/Newscom (Ray J)

Kim Kardashian + Ray J
Released to public: Yes.
Leaked: Vivid paid $1 million to a third party for the tape in early 2007.
Litigated: The company then reportedly paid another $5 million to settle with Kardashian after she sued.
Stored: Also somewhere in Vivid’s security labyrinth.

Photo: AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

Rob Lowe + Two Women (One of whom was 16)
In July 1988 at the Atlanta Hilton & Towers hotel.
Released to public: No.
Leaked: Immediately, when the girls took the tape while Lowe was in the bathroom.
Litigated: The 16-year-old’s mother found a copy and employed attorney J. Hue Henry to file a personal-injury suit against Lowe.
Destroyed: A court ordered both known copies burned. (A different tape starring Lowe has been widely seen.)

Photo: Steve Starr/Corbis

Pamela Anderson + Tommy Lee
In 1995, at Lake Mead, Nevada, and elsewhere.
Released to public: Yes.
Leaked: The video was allegedly stolen from the couple’s home and sold to the Internet Entertainment Group, which posted it online in 1997 after reaching a settlement with Anderson and Lee.
Stored: Vivid Entertainment now controls the master but is cagey about where it is kept. “We’re not going to reveal that, for security reasons,” a rep says.

Photo: Frank Trapper/Sygma/Corbis (Kid Rock); AP Photo/Kim D. Johnson (Stapp)

Kid Rock/Scott Stapp + Ladiezzz
In 1999, in a tour bus in Florida.
Released to public: No.
Leaked: A third party—who initially planned to release the video online for free—sold it to Red Light District company in 2006.
Litigated: Red Light District put out a 40-second preview but halted release of the full footage after Messrs. Stapp and Rock initiated legal action.
Stored: In the office of Kid Rock’s attorney, William H. Horton, at 101 West Big Beaver Road in Troy, Michigan.

Photo: Patrick McMullan (Hilton); PacificNews/Newscom (Salomon)

Paris Hilton + Rick Salomon
In 2001
Released to public: Yes.
Leaked: In 2004, when Hilton’s ex-boyfriend Salomon released the tape—filmed when Hilton was 19—through a deal with Red Light District. It was widely pirated online but still sold 280,000 copies in its first two weeks of release.
Stored: Red Light District keeps the master “in a secure remote location.”

Photo: Bebeto Matthews/AP/Corbis (Prejean)

Carrie Prejean (Solo performance)
Unknown, but possibly (she claims) when she was underage.
Released to public: No.
Leaked: Acquired by representatives of the Miss USA pageant during conflict over Prejean’s de-crowning (which was triggered by the release of unrelated salacious photos).
Litigated: From the pageant’s perspective, the tape did the trick: Prejean agreed to a settlement.
Stored: Whereabouts unknown. It could be right behind you!

Photo: Patrick McMullan (Hunter); James Leynse/Corbis (Edwards)

John Edwards + Rielle Hunter
Fall 2006 or 2007
Released to public: No.
Leaked: Hunter unspooled the tape—which, the Daily Beast has reported, shows Edwards “graphically performing for the camera”—and put it in storage, where Edwards aide Andrew Young found it in 2008.
Litigated: Hunter successfully sued Young to get the tape back and have it obliterated.
Stored: The tape is being held in the Orange County Superior Courthouse in Hillsborough, North Carolina; both sides need to meet with the clerk to decide the “time, place, and method” of its destruction.

Have good intel? Send tips to

Sex Tapes: Where Are They Now?