It was the celebrity sex tape that launched an unknown hanger-on and her family into the celebrity stratosphere and changed the face of pop culture — for better or worse. In the spring of 2007, Vivid Entertainment released a 41-minute X-rated video, shot by a young couple four years earlier during a vacation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The stars were R&B wannabe Ray J and his then-girlfriend, a 22-year-old Kim Kardashian. At the time, Kim was only vaguely familiar as a fringe-level friend of then It Girl Paris Hilton. But the bawdy bombshell became a media juggernaut that laid the groundwork for the entire Kardashian showbiz empire.
“It’s hard to know whether to laugh, cry or cringe, realizing it’s been 10 years since the family began to flood the scene,” says a Hollywood insider. “I still can’t figure out exactly what they have to offer society, but more power to them for their business acumen.”
Business acumen is right — and it was soon apparent that the brains of the operation belonged to Kim’s mother, Kris Jenner. As Star previously revealed, Kris reportedly helped broker the deal to foist her own daughter’s sex tape on the public. At Kris’ urging, Kim sued for ownership of the tape, only to later settle for $5 million.
“Millions of people have seen it, and it’s by far our bestselling tape of all time.” Steven Hirsch, the founder of Vivid (the adult entertainment industry’s number one brand), tells Star. We knew we were onto something when we first set eyes on Kim — and the video helped make her the sensation she is today.”