US singer and actor Ray-J, the ex-paramour of the world’s biggest media personality Kim Kardashian, has revealed that her mother watched and approved the sex tape that catapulted her into stardom.
Notice I did not say infamy but stardom.
According to his Instagram rant, they both got paid around US$400,000 each for their performance and the transaction was negotiated and managed.
In effect, he is saying her very own mother pimped her out.
Whereas Kim Kardashian may have started out as a social butterfly and social media darling, she has morphed into an entrepreneur, wife, mother, budding lawyer and some even say future President of the United States.
Now Ray-J is threatening to undo that and sully the brand that she has built.
Make no mistake, Kim Kardashian is a cultural icon who redefined pornography and took it to new commercial heights.
The sex tape is no longer shame on film but an avenue to riches and fame. Shot in 2004, and brought to the public’s attention in 2007, the tape released by Vivid has gone on to make millions.
The sex tape has now been elevated to a form of Americana. Think Paris Hilton and Rick Saloman, Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee, Eric Dane and Rebecca Gayheart, Colin Farrell and Nicole Naraim, Eve and Stevie J.
Once the release of a sex tape would be seen as the kiss of death to a career in the entertainment industry, now it is seen as a boon.
Kim Kardashian has no discernible talent but it is said that she has been able to amass a billion-dollar fortune with that tape being her launching pad.
Some say she has become a 21st-century feminine icon, a figurehead for liberated sexuality.
Sisters are doing it for themselves.
Kim Kardashian has over the years maintained that the tape was leaked without her consent and that she has made efforts to reclaim the rights and make it go away.
That was an ingenue in her twenties, not the sophisticated businesswoman and mother that she is today.
But Ray-J debunks that and says it was planned from the very get-go. The aim was to thrust into stardom with her mother, Kris Jenner’s approval and oversight.
“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 we’ve always been partners since the beginning of this thing,” refuted Ray-J.
If this is true, it should be damming and means that the sexual activity was stage-managed and met its objectives.
Kris Jenner took a lie detector test on The Late Show with James Corden where she was asked, “ Did you help Kim release her sex tape?”
She said “ No” and the contraption revealed she was telling the truth.
But with Ray-J’s disclosures, will the public view Kim and her mother differently? Will it see this as the ugly side of celebrity?
I don’t think so. It will only serve to ratchet up the lurid sensationalism. It’s another log on the fire. While Kim Kardashian’s fame will continue to soar, Ray-J will forever be remembered as the stud brought in to do his part.
Can he break that perception if he can present irrefutable evidence that can substantiate his claims?
As it stands, Kim, Kris and Ray-J don’t come out of this too well and it is a reflection of the times and the commodification of celebrity.
On this, Kim’s ex-husband rapper Kanye West was particularly perspicacious.
Commenting on how Kim cried when he was able to retrieve other sexually revealing tapes and images from Ray-J on a laptop he said: “Kim cried when she saw it. You know why she cried when she seen it on the laptop? Because it represents how much she’s been used. It represents how much people didn’t love her and they just saw her as a commodity.”
But was this a price Kim Kardashian was willing to pay? Today she is one of the most recognised and feted women on the planet largely due to that tape.
A compare-and-contrast with accomplished actress Charlize Theron seems apropos. Theron at 45 has earned a reputation for being one of the very best in her craft, an actress who excels in any movie genre, whether it be drama, comedy, you name it. Her performance in Monster is excellent and unforgettable.
Assessing fame, Theron said: “I feel like I’m at a place where it is what it is. Working more isn’t, I think going to change my level of fame. It just has always been a mediocre ride. I’ve never been one of those people that’s at a Kim Kardashian level. But I feel like it’s just always been this thing.”
It must be said that Kim Kardashian hasn’t rested on her laurels and has managed to use her celebrity to make it pay big time for her. Endorsements, TV shows, clothing lines – her fortune just keeps on growing.
Is Kim Kardashian a product of fame or notoriety?
One gets the impression she is seeking to redefine herself, striving to find a nobler purpose as a woman in her forties with children.
She has been mooted as a future Presidential candidate.
A generation ago- maybe two, that would have been considered ridiculous. But in 2019 the New York Times asked her, if she would consider running for office.
“No, I don’t think so. It would probably be the most stressful job in the world, and I don’t think that’s for me,” she said.
Ronald Reagan successfully ran for President and Dwayne Johnson has made his political ambitions clear so who knows. Stranger things have happened.
From porn star to President of the United States. It may not be as incredulous as you think.
Should she complete her law studies, follow in her father’s footsteps, and become a star advocate for criminal justice reform, it gives her a platform to enter the political arena.
Now that would be a remarkable chrysalis.