L.A. Times Reports on the Celebrity Sex Tape Phenomenon

Tod Hunter
LOS ANGELES — A story posted Friday on the L.A. Times website looks at the phenomenon of celebrity sex tapes.

"Not a week goes by that we don't get at least five calls [offering celebrity tapes]," Vivid Entertainment Group co-chair Steven Hirsch told the Times.

The article touches on the success of the Pamela Anderson-Tommy Lee tape — which, Vivid said, brought in "several million" dollars — and the problems of securing releases from the people involved, and quotes adult industry personalities Kevin Blatt and Allan Gelbard.

The publicity angle of being associated with a celebrity tape is discussed. Blatt told of a website that had been enjoined from showing the Paris Hilton tape and had returned it to her, but was willing to pay Blatt for every time the company's URL was mentioned at his appearance on the Howard Stern show. Blatt said it 12 times, and Stern repeated it nine times in an eight-minute appearance.

Similarly, the offer by video rental company SugarDVD for the Verne Troyer sex tape led to mentions in mainstream press worldwide.

"We can get 80 to 85 percent [of the publicity] without the tape," SugarDVD CEO Jax Smith told the Times. "Many of the places would never carry adult banner ads or other advertising, but they'll use us in a story."

The complete story can be accessed on the L.A. Times website.