Fact Check: Did Ray J, Kim Kardashian, Kris Jenner Make Sex Tape 'Deal'?

Kim Kardashian's ex Ray J—who famously featured in her 2007 sex tape—has claimed that Kim and her mother, Kris Jenner, orchestrated the tape's original release.

The singer, whose given name is Ray Norwood, has accused Kardashian and Jenner of using him to create drama for a storyline about the sex tape in the current season of their new Hulu show, The Kardashians.

In the new series, viewers witnessed Kardashian brought to tears when her estranged husband Kanye West delivered her a hard drive said to be from Ray J, which allegedly contained unreleased footage of the reality star's infamous sex tape.

Ray J has since disputed the events in the episode, calling them "a lie."

Kim Kardashian, Ray J, Kris Jenner
Kim Kardashian’s ex Ray J who famously featured in her 2007 sex tape has claimed that Kim and her mother, Kris Jenner, orchestrated the tape’s original release. Getty Images

He has now made some serious allegations against Kardashian and Jenner in an interview with the Daily Mail this week, where he called the original release of the sex tape a "partnership" between Jenner and Kardashian.

While the sex tape has come to no longer define Kardashian's celebrity status, it made headlines again this year when in The Kardashians, the 41-year-old is seen grappling with the prospect of her children being exposed to the tape online.

Her six-year-old son Saint saw a picture of his mother's face while playing the online game Roblox and showed it to her, and upon further examination, Kardashian realized the joke of her crying face discovered by her son was related to reports of further sex tape footage.

The Claim

In reaction to claims in the latest episode of The Kardashians about another Ray J and Kim Kardashian sex tape leak, Ray J has claimed that the original sex tape was leaked by Kardashian herself, along with her mother, Kris Jenner.

"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," Ray J told the Daily Mail.

This is in opposition to initial claims that he had released the tape.

He added: "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."

Ray J, 41, told the newspaper he suggested the idea of releasing the tape after seeing how the release of Paris Hilton's sex tape with Rick Salomon boosted her profile.

Kim Kardashian
Paris Hilton, Ray J, Kim Kardashian and Serena Williams in 2006. Getty Images

Kardashian has always maintained that she was against the release of the sex tape but Ray J has claimed that she sought her mother's help to plan its release via Vivid Entertainment.

"Once I pitched the idea to her, just playing around a little bit, that's when she jumped on the idea, talked to her mom and it was out of my hands from there," he said.

Ray J also shared screenshots of his recent texts to Kardashian after he contacted her when the new sex tape allegations on the Hulu show came out.

The Facts

The former couple dated from 2002 to 2006 and reportedly filmed the sex tape during Kardashian's birthday celebations in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in 2004.

The tape, Kim Kardashian, Superstar, was released in March 2007 by Vivid Entertainment.

The company issued a press release at the time saying they purchased the tape from a "third party" for $1 million.

Before the release of the tape in February 2007 Kardashian sued Vivid Entertainment for invasion of privacy and for the profits from and ownership of the tape. However, she dropped the suit in April and settled for $5 million.

In 2017, the founder of Vivid Entertainment Steven Hirsch confirmed that the deal was not brokered by Kardashian or Jenner and maintained that Kardashian fought against its release.

Kim Kardashian, Ray J
Kim Kardashian and Ray J dated from 2002 to 2006 and reportedly filmed the sex tape during Kardashian’s birthday celebations in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in 2004. Getty Images

"It was that these people had the footage and were looking to sell it," he told Page Six but never revealed the identity of the party looking to sell the tape.

He called rumors that Jenner orchestrated the release "nonsense" but author and another ex of Ray J, Karine Steffans, also quoted in the same article said that both Kardashian and Ray J would have had to sign off for the tape to ever be release.

"In order for that tape to come out, Kim would have had to have signed off on it, period. That's just the way that works ... Steve Hirsch would never have gone against that if he didn't have signatures."

Author Ian Halperin alleged in his 2016 book "Kardashian Dynasty" that Kardashian and Jenner deliberately leaked the sex tape to Vivid Entertainment.

"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."

The book also quotes Los Angeles attorney, Mychal Wilson, who also believed the tape could not have been distributed without the consent of both Ray J and Kardashian.

"It appears that both Kim Kardashian and Ray J consented to make the sex tape," said Wilson.

"Clearly, they both are aware of the taping as they are mugging for the camera. Kim and Ray J's sex tape appears to be high quality and well shot. Additionally, both parties would have consented to signing on the distribution deal with Vivid Entertainment."

The Ruling

Fact Check - Mostly True

Mostly True.

FACT CHECK BY NEWSWEEK

The consensus seems to be is that there is a distribution deal in place between Kardashian, Jenner and and Vivid Entertainment but it's still unclear how the company got the tape.

Newsweek finds Ray J's claims about a deal to have some merit but the facts remain obscure about how the tape made its way to Vivid Entertainment in the first place.