Kardashians
Here's a complete timeline of Kim Kardashian and Ray J's sex tape drama.

Ray J Claimed That Kim And Kris Leaked The Sex Tape

Come again?

Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan/Getty Images

In the Kardashians’ latest venture into reality TV with Hulu’s (aptly named) The Kardashians, Kim Kardashian and Ray J’s sex tape from 2003 became a popular topic of conversation once more — this time, because her son Saint West saw an ad for new, unreleased footage on his Roblox. As the show tells it, following the discovery, Kanye West flew to Los Angeles to get the full sex tape from Ray J, so that Kim could finally put all of the drama behind her ahead of her Saturday Night Live debut. It was a sweet moment — especially considering all of the divorce drama viewers know Kimye’s about to face — but it may not have been 100% accurate. (Reality TV? Edited? Never!)

In a May 4 interview with Daily Mail, Ray J claimed he wasn’t the one responsible for releasing the sex tape, throwing this whole plot line into question. “I’ve never leaked anything. I have never leaked a sex tape in my life. It has never been a leak,” he claimed. According to him, it was actually Kim and her mom Kris Jenner who shared the tape with the world. “Once I pitched the idea to [Kim], 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.” (Elite Daily reached out to Kim and Kris for comment on this claim, but did not hear back in time for publication.)

So, um, what is the truth? Behold, a full timeline of Kim and Ray J’s sex tape drama.

February 2007: Kim Kardashian, Superstar Was Released

Kim and Ray J’s sex tape didn’t see the light of day until Feb. 28, 2007, when Vivid Entertainment released the tape. Before its release, Kim denied selling her sex tape. “There is no tape being shopped. Ray J and I remain friends, and there is nothing he would do to spite me,” she told TMZ in January 2007.

A month later, Kim sued Vivid Entertainment — the company that was releasing the tape. “This tape, which was made three years ago, and was meant to be something private between myself and my then-boyfriend is extremely hurtful not only to me, but to my family as well,” Kim told People. (The couple dated from 2003 to 2006.) “I am filing legal charges against the company who is distributing this tape since it is being sold completely without my permission or consent.”

But her case didn’t stick. In response, Vivid Entertainment’s cochairman said, “We are comfortable that we have the legal right to distribute this video, despite what others may say. We have been around for 20 years and if we didn’t feel comfortable putting it out, we wouldn’t. We would like Kim and Ray J to be a part of it and hopefully we can work that out.”

Kim and Ray J reportedly didn’t exactly come out of this deal empty-handed. Per TMZ, the duo split a $1 million advance, and they received 49% of the profits from the sex tape sales — amounting to around $49 million.

As for Ray J’s claim about Kris’ involvement, according to TMZ sources, the Momager extraordinaire did not make any deals with Vivid (though that doesn’t necessarily mean she wasn’t involved behind the scenes).

October 2007: Kris Jenner’s “But As Her Manager” Quip

In October 2007, Keeping Up With The Kardashians premiered, and the drama surrounding Kim’s sex tape was featured in the show’s pilot episode, as Kim went on Tyra Banks’ talk show to discuss the video. In Season 1, viewers also got Kris’ iconic line, “When I saw Kim’s sex tape, as a mother, I wanted to kill her. But as her manager, I knew that I had a job to do.” (The moment soon became the ultimate Momager meme.)

April 2013: Ray J Released “I Hit It First”

Ray J’s “I Hit It First” may not have explicitly named Kim, but he didn’t really try to hide who it was about, either. The proof? It’s in the lyrics. “She might move on to rappers and ballplayers / But we all know I hit it first... I had her head going north and her a** going south / But now baby chose to go West,” Ray J rapped.

Ray J also cast a Kim lookalike in the music video. But he denied that it was about his ex. "It's a song, it's not about that, it's about a concept,” Ray J claimed in a 2013 interview with Hot 97. Sureee...

November 2018: Kim Called Ray J A “Pathological Liar”

In November 2018, The Sun published a piece claiming that Ray J was spreading rumors about Kim while out in London. According to the report, he said that Kim had a Louis Vuitton trunk full of sex toys, would stop to do her makeup mid-sex, spent an exorbitant amount of money ($100,000) on thongs, and pretty much always answered her mother’s calls. (Not sure how that last one fits with all the others, but I digress.)

When one fan took to Twitter to respond to the article, writing, “RayJ constantly revealing all these intimate details about @KimKardashian shows that he is suffering from low self esteem! Hoping that Kanye ignores his a**,” Kim did not hold back.

She slammed her ex on Twitter, “Or shows he’s a pathological liar... you actually believe this story? It’s too funny to me!”

October 2022: Kim’s Saturday Night Live Joke

During her SNL monologue, Kim made a joke about her sex tape, implying that she didn’t know about its release — but her mother did. “When they asked, I was like 'You want me to host? Why? I haven't had a movie premiere in a really long time.’ Actually, I've only had that one movie come out, and no one even told me it was premiering,” Kim joked before giving her mom an undeserved (?) shoutout. “It must have slipped my mom's mind,” she added.

April 2022: The Kardashians Premiered

When The Kardashians premiered, Kim’s sex tape was brought up once more as a major plot point of the pilot episode. This time, Kim was more confident when dealing with it. “I know the right attorneys this time, I know exactly what to do this time, I’m not gonna let this happen to me again,” she said in Episode 1. “I have all the time, all the money, and all of the resources to burn them all to the f*cking ground.” (But is Ray J included in that ~all~? The world needs answers!)

As the show follows this storyline, Kanye actually goes to Ray J to retrieve the hard drive of the footage. “He got me all of the sex tape back. And he flew home and he got the computer it was on and the hard drive. He met up with Ray J at the airport,” Kim explained, per E!.

April 2022: Ray J Said It Was “All Lies”

When Hollywood Unlocked posted about the resurfaced sex tape controversy in April, Ray J made his opinion known in the comments section. “All of this is a lie smh – Can’t let them do this anymore – so untrue,” he wrote.

May 2022: Ray J Said Kim And Kris Agreed To Release The Tape
Kevin Mazur/MG22/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

In a May 4 interview with Daily Mail, Ray J doubled down on his claim and gave more insight into his side of the story — including alleged DMs between him and Kim. He told the outlet, “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 also profited off of the sex tape release, BTW, lest we forget “I Hit It First.”)

He then went on to say that he, Kris, and Kim all agreed on releasing the sex tape... and that the Kardashians had always had access to the footage. “I have never leaked a sex tape in my life. 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,” he said. “I never had a single one at my house — she had them at her house. She’s always had all the tapes in a Nike shoe box under her bed,” he claimed.

However, according to a May 5 TMZ report, Kris was never involved in negotiations with Vivid Entertainment. Per the outlet, Kim, Ray J, and their lawyers made the deal — not Kris.

Still waiting on Kim and Kris to respond to Ray J’s claims, but I have a feeling I know what Season 2, Episode 1 of The Kardashians will cover.