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The shameless entrepreneurial spirit of the Kardashian clan is, in many ways, to be respected.
Turning the ‘leak’ of a grainy sex tape into a multi-billion-dollar business that has spawned the world’s most talked about celebrities for 15 years is a feat few could have pulled off.
But then again, how many mothers would, according to Ray J, actively advocate their daughter releasing to the world a video showing her engaging in sexual activity with her then-more famous boyfriend as a 21-year-old?
While rumours about the origin of the sex tape have lingered for years, it’s only exploded into the public domain this week because of two key incidents.
How many mothers would, according to Ray J, actively advocate their daughter releasing to the world a video showing her engaging in sexual activity with her then-more famous boyfriend as a 21-year-old? Pictured: Ray J and Kim Kardashian
Ray J’s revelations are damning and it’s clear to me that he has ended up the victim in this sordid saga. The singer is pictured yesterday at his condo in Hollywood Beach, Florida
First, Kim tried to rewrite history about the circumstances of what made her famous during episode two of her new Hulu reality show, when her estranged husband Kanye West delivered a hard drive from Ray J that allegedly included unreleased material from the pair’s sex tape.
Then yesterday, the largely forgotten hip hop star of yesteryear who became collateral damage in the Kardashians’ thirsty quest for fame gave a truly extraordinary exclusive interview to DailyMail.com revealing for the first time the full circumstances around the tape’s original release.
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Now a father battling to rescue his reputation, Ray J’s revelations are damning and it’s clear to me that he has ended up the victim in this sordid saga.
He NEVER leaked the sex tape – he says it entered the public domain thanks to a deal stitched up by Kris with him and Kim, who, inspired by Paris Hilton’s X-rated fame, had full knowledge it was about to be released.
More to the point, he says the only copy of the original video was held by Kim herself, which she stashed in a Nike shoebox under her bed, meaning her emotional breakdown on the reality show when Kanye returned the hard drive after claiming Ray J was trying to extort the family were ‘crocodile tears’.
So far, so shocking – it certainly goes against the prevailing narrative.
But I believe Ray J is telling the truth.
He doesn’t deny the initial release was his idea, but then got swept up in the now notoriously ruthless Kardashian business style, with a $100 million deal signed with Vivid Entertainment.
Ray J says he and Kanye spoke ‘father to father about the sex tape and he agreed to give up everything he had – even though there was nothing damning in his possession
For years, the Kardashians allowed a story to develop that Ray J was responsible for the leak – and he was unable to defend himself because of the contract he’d signed without legal advice.
And the consequences for his life and career have been seismic, with multiple lost work opportunities and suicidal feelings something he’s had to contend with in private.
As he put it: ‘I’ve sat in the shadows for over 14 years allowing the Kardashians to use my name, to abuse my name, make billions of dollars over a decade-and-a-half talking about a topic I’ve never really spoken about.
‘I’ve never leaked anything. I have never leaked a sex tape in my life. It has never been a leak. It’s always been a deal and a partnership between Kris Jenner and Kim and me and we’ve always been partners since the beginning of this thing.’
What’s more, Ray J, who is now 41, has the receipts he says back up his claims, revealing details of a private direct Instagram message exchange with Kim recently, where she tries to shrug off vile sexual smears made against him on the Hulu show as a joke and blames his manager for threatening to release a new sex tape that doesn’t exist.
But tellingly she also wrote: ‘I want you to know that I wish nothing but the best for you. This has hurt us both in so many ways and I know we are aligned in wanting to move forward in our lives and not continue to be defined by something we did 20 years ago.’
Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson arrive to the 2022 Met Gala Celebrating ‘In America: An Anthology of Fashion’ at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 02
Now, nothing at this point will take away the Kardashians’ impact on pop culture.
Like it or not, they are historic figures in the entertainment industry whose name will be as synonymous with Hollywood as Marilyn Monroe and James Dean, even if it might be, in the mind of traditionalists like me, for all the wrong reasons.
But that’s why Ray J’s revelations matter.
The record must show that Kim was NOT a victim of a sex tape leak designed to damage her.
We are now told she set the whole thing up herself because in the Noughties having a sex tape became an instant ticket to fame and fortune.
In text messages to Kim, Ray J pointed out that she knew the publishing of their sex tape was a commercial agreement and that he has kept up his side of the bargain
Kim’s comment about a sex toy made Ray J ‘look like a rapist and dirty perv,’ he said in texts pleading with Kim to come clean
Kim insisted her comments on her Hulu show were a joke. ‘I was laughing when I said it,’ she told Ray J in a text. She then says that giving the computer to Kanye ‘shows you in a positive light’
Ray J tells Kim things are ‘getting worse everyday’. But Kim says she doesn’t want to be defined by something they did 20 years ago
Clearly, that’s an indictment on our tawdry era of celebrity.
As recently as the Nineties, there was an expectation that those who became famous did so because of a God given talent.
The Kardashians do have a talent I guess: Selling their bodies for self-promotion at any cost – and becoming rich and famous beyond imagination, as a result.
The societal consequences of such a change to the meaning of celebrity will be studied by academics for years to come.
Ray J insists that he gave Kanye pictures, not a sex tape
But it’s without doubt why so many young wannabes today are encouraged to sign up and pose nude or worse on websites like OnlyFans.
Surely, if this is all OK, the Kardashians should be secure enough now to own up about the true circumstances of what catapulted them to fame and helped Kris secure the E! reality series Keeping Up With The Kardashians that changed their lives and the world of celebrity forever.
They owe it to their business partner Ray J – who claims they all still make money from the Vivid deal – for his life to no longer be continually blighted by the suggestion he leaked the X-rated video without the explicit permission of Kris and Kim.
If Kim remains the world’s most sought-after celebrity, even dressing in Marilyn Monroe’s historic Happy Birthday Mr President dress as the star guest at this week’s Met Gala, then why the hell does Ray J remain cancelled? It’s a hypocritical joke.
Let his words in our exclusive interview sink in for one final moment: ‘I felt suicidal because when you know something’s real and it’s true and you’re watching a whole family create an empire from a lie they’ve created, it’s heartbreaking and disrespectful to all the entertainers who have been honest and true to their craft.
‘This has been a burden for me. It’s been an embarrassment for me. My family have questioned my integrity, who I am as a person.
‘From the beginning of us putting this sex tape out, this has been the biggest lie in the industry in the history of entertainment.’
It’s time for Kris and Kim to come clean about their role in leaking that infamous sex tape once and for all – the Hollywood history books on how and why the Kardashians became famous need correcting.
Source: DUK News