18:16 GMT24 June 2021
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    Back in 2007, an infamous sex tape propelled a relatively unknown friend and stylist of Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, to stardom.

    Kim Kardashian has opened up about her bold decision to allow the "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" producers to publicly address her notorious sex tape on the show's pilot episode in 2007.

    Speaking to The Los Angeles Times, the reality show star and business mogul said if it hadn't been for the series, she probably would've never spoken out about the scandal.

    "I do think that, obviously, as producers, I'm sure they loved it. And loved [us] wanting to talk about the elephant in the room. And I probably wouldn't have, unless it was for the show. Sometimes I feel like, 'OK, I know I should probably deal and get this over with. Someone's going to ask me, so I might as well just go ahead and do it'. [...] In a way, filming has helped us deal with things, instead of sweeping them under the rug. At the end of the day, I was always open and honest and wanted to share whatever I was going through. I wasn't gonna hold back", Kardashian said.

    Lisa Berger, who at the time was the executive vice president of original programming and series development at E!, told The Los Angeles Times that everyone probably thinks "the sex tape made the show happen", but it wasn't the case.

    "I remember Kim being conflicted about it, because she hated everything that was going on around that tape. We all talked about, 'We just have to own all the controversy around this family' and jumped in with both feet in the first episode. Then, the audience can get to know them at a much deeper level than what's been tabloid headlines", executive producer Farnaz Farjam added.

    During the show's very first episode, Kim's sister, Kourtney, wondered why she had agreed to feature on a sex tape with her then-boyfriend Ray J.

    Kim had a simple answer to the question: "Because I was horny and I felt like it".

    Kim and Ray J dated on and off in the early 2000s after Kardashian split from her first husband Damon Thomas.

    In 2007, a sex tape made by the couple was leaked, prompting Kim, who was relatively unknown back then, to file a lawsuit against Vivid Entertainment, a porn company that distributed the film as "Kim Kardashian: Superstar", for invasion of privacy as well as profits and ownership of the tape.

    The company claimed it had purchased the tape from a "third party" for $1 million. Kardashian later dropped the suit, reportedly settling with Vivid Entertainment for $5 million.

    In 2016, journalist Ian Halperin alleged in his book "Kardashian Dynasty" that Kim and her "momager", Kris Jenner, deliberately leaked the tape for the burgeoning socialite to achieve fame.

    "A mutual friend of Kim and Paris Hilton had advised her that if she wanted to achieve fame, a sex tape would be the way to go ... Kim had discussed the idea of producing a tape with her family beforehand ... It was Kris who engineered the deal behind the scenes [with Vivid Entertainment] and was responsible for the tape seeing the light of day", Halperin wrote.

    The Kardashian-Jenner family has denied the allegations.

    Keeping Up With the Kardashians (KUWTK), leak, sex tape, Kim Kardashian
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