Tulisa’s sex tape: Being a performer doesn’t mean you want to be a porn star

Laura Davis

133048670 200x300 Tulisas sex tape: Being a performer doesnt mean you want to be a porn starRumours have been circulating this week about the release of a sex tape involving Tulisa Contostavlos.

It’s a regular feature in the media. Big names such as Paris Hilton and Pamela Anderson have had videos leaked in the past, and Ulrika Jonsson won a court order in 2002 banning footballer Stan Collymore from selling an explicit video in which she was said to feature.

In the UK, it’s unlawful to share a sex tape that involves someone else (without permission) in the sense that is breaches privacy laws, but not illegal in the criminal sense.

You can sue both the site that shows the video, and the person who released it. But is financial compensation after the video has been seen by the public adequate to repair the personal damages?

Comments typically entail blaming those featured for putting themselves on film in the first place, but there’s no concrete reason why any blame should settle here. The spotlight is always on the celebrity featured; targeted and asked “what were they thinking?”

When engaging in any sexual activity with a partner, on or off film, most people would assume that they could trust them enough not to share details, private images or even footage with others.

Scarlett Johansson and Ashley Greene are also actresses with recently leaked naked images purportedly of them on the internet. They were criticised over the existence of the pictures in the first place.

The risk may be increased (which is something to take into account) as the interest and demand would be greater for attractive celebrities, but this doesn’t mean they should be lead restricted sex lives. There is nothing dirty or unnatural about a partner having an intimate image of their other half.

Making the sex tape is just as much a valid fetish as dressing up or bondage. The sex industry is a multi-billion dollar industry for a reason. Appearing on television shouldn’t mean anyone should forgo their right to explore their sexuality without fear of details or images being released.

Shouldn’t you need permission from both parties to share a private film or image? You need permission from anyone who’s featured on television.

Soon after it hit the web, Tulisa soon received an injunction banning the video from being shared. But she has also felt the need to post a video explaining that it is indeed her in the video, and according to her, ex-boyfriend MC Justin ‘Ultra’ Edwards, who she was in a relationship with as a teenager.

Shortly after her video was posted, he tweeted: ‘I believe in silence being a sign of Integrity but in this case I guess I’ll have to speak up and Lay out the facts and let you guys decide.’ Adding this morning: ‘To find the truth both sides of the story should be heard b4 passing judgement #thatisall.’

It is not yet confirmed that he shared the tape, or indeed that he is the other person featured in the film. But it is clear that Tulisa wasn’t intending for this to be seen in public.

The former N Dubz member commented that she wasn’t surprised, saying she had heard rumours of her ex-boyfriend threatening to make the video public some time ago: “to make money or ruin my career”.

The Sun also revealed in August last year that a sex tape purportedly of the singer was being offered for $1 million. At the time, Tulisa’s representatives reportedly insisted it was “100 per cent fake”. They said: “She is horrified that someone would go to the extreme lengths of fabricating a video. It is absolutely not her.”

Another site apparently put footage online, and charged £3.90 to download it.

A woman appears to become a highly sexualised creature when something of this nature is released in public view, subject to attacks from people calling her a slut or one of the long list of names for a female who engages in sexual activity. There’s also been the reference of the X Factor judge recently being photographed giggling at erotic toys in a sex shop and tweeting about her vibrating object at the airport. Two and two together and you’ve got some sort of raging sexual predator.

In the eyes of the law, blackmail is criminalised due to the recognition of the grief it can cause those subject to the situation. Why aren’t such breaches of privacy respected in the same way?

France is renowned for their privacy laws being among the strictest in Europe, resulting in a strong deterrent for anyone risking breaching these. Their Constitutional Right to Privacy has been enforced since 1970, which makes our Human Rights Act born in the late nineties look infantile.

Although the sex acts shown on these videos are not illegal in any sense, the implicit defamation of character is hugely damaging to a reputation as well as to their personal being.

When this situation occurs, a person’s trust and privacy is violated. They’re subjected to public scrutiny at their most intimate. The humiliation would suffice without the smug comments in the vein of “it’s your own fault”.

What happens in a relationship is private and it’s any individual’s choice how they have sex, in the public eye or not. Releasing private images or film of this nature without permission shouldn’t need a court order once the threat is perceived, or indeed carried out. We should be prevented from sharing intimate images of anyone in the first place by the behaviour being criminalised.

The risk of having to pay legal damages isn’t a strong enough deterrent. Suing simply isn’t satisfactory after the damage has been done.

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  • crossmmafit

    Well she is definitely good with her hands but not with  her  lips as I saw the performance – not a riveting one  that could land her a job. The fact that she  was happy with being filmed doing the act makes her whatever you name it. Porn stars do it for the money; she did that for  the fame and that makes her no different from any other porn actress. 

  • Michael Hart

    “When engaging in any sexual activity with a partner, on or off film, most people would assume that they could trust them enough not to share details, private images or even footage with others.”

    Silly comment. Let’s see who wrote it… ah… a woman!

    On a more realistic level, this problem has been with us for centuries. Firstly, as a way for women to blackmail men and destroy their reputation. Latterly, so that a woman can be promiscuous with a celebrity such as a pro footballer, then sell, sell, sell for a kiss and tell, tell, tell, and please address all correspondence to Max Clifford.

    Women getting the the pointy end of this stick is certainly new, but to pretend that it hasn’t worked the ‘other way around’ for virtually ever shows a lack of grasp of the subject.

  • stanwright

    Being a performer might not mean you want to be a porn star, but making a sex tape is a pretty good step in that direction.

  • Ashley Smith

    whats all those saddos downloading the video for???

  • Ashley Smith


  • Karen Barclay

    These days I assume any picture or video can end up on Facebook. It’s harsh – but if you really don’t want people to see pictures or footage, don’t take them, or have it destroyed when the relationship tanks.

  • DaLaconic

    “The sex industry is a multi-billion dollar industry for a reason.” Maybe it is but aren’t you talking about the porn industry?

  • DaLaconic

    you are, at the very least, interested in who is interested

  • popsiq

    While there may be ”Nothing dirty or unnatural about a partner having an initimate image of their other half.” There is something questionably intelligent about it. Particularly if that image is more than mental. Add to that, in spades, if the other half, or the partner, are people in the news for other things, there is a virtual certainty that, unless destroyed, the image will appear, in public, at some time.

    It seems there is a growing propensity, as there has been since the first photographic images were made, to ‘capture’ ourselves at our ‘finest moments’. That  coitus seems to have become a ‘finest’ moment for so many is only indicative that there is no shortage of egoism, or a an increasing plenitude of recordng media. There is certainly no shortage of short-sighted stupidity.

  • Cfax

    Did not get past the headline, wasn’t interested enough!

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