Sex Tapes, Hush Money, and Hollywood’s Economy of Secrets


When Georgia reported its first coronavirus case, Amber and Vinson had about three months of bills saved.

The couple met in highschool in 2006, in a Yahoo chat room about hip hop. (Amber and Vinson have requested us to make use of their first names solely.) She gave up a school scholarship and moved to Atlanta to be with him; he dropped out of school when she grew to become pregnant. For greater than a decade, he made sandwiches at Subway whereas she gave beginning to 2 extra youngsters and drifted by way of name middle jobs. They had been in love, however like most millennials that they had little monetary stability.

Then, in 2018, Amber landed a job at Public Storage. The gig concerned overseeing auctions for the stuff left behind in unpaid storage items. Speculators might, if fortunate, quadruple their cash by flipping the contents. It obtained her considering. As an worker, she wasn’t allowed to take part within the auctions, however since she and Vinson weren’t married, he was free to bid.

The trick, the couple quickly found, was to seek out the precise purchaser for every object you’d scored in case you received an public sale. Not everybody may even see the worth in movie manufacturing lights or a selected model of streetwear, however in case you did some digging on-line, you would possibly discover somebody who would pay much more than a pawn store would. Amber and Vinson felt they’d discovered one thing they had been good at. They talked about saving for a home—that’s, till the pandemic hit, their automobile broke down, the auctions obtained canceled, and faculties went digital, which means all three of their sons had been residence, 24/7.

Two months into lockdown, Vinson was combing by way of stuff he’d purchased in earlier auctions and hadn’t bought but. He discovered an previous BlackBerry and fired it up. There, he noticed photographs of an engagement ring, then a funeral, after which, was {that a} bare lady? He regarded nearer. Sure, it was a unadorned lady; it was a well-known bare lady, strutting round, and giving a blow job to a well-known bare man, in a collection of quick video clips.

He confirmed the movies to Amber, and she or he puzzled in the event that they may be price one thing. However the place would they discover the precise purchaser?

Amber thought for a second. The largest superstar intercourse tape she might bear in mind was Paris Hilton’s. Hadn’t that residence video turbocharged the socialite’s profession and made hundreds of thousands of {dollars}? Who was behind that, anyway? A number of Googles later, she had her reply: a person named Kevin Blatt, who referred to as himself a “superstar intercourse tape dealer.” She squinted on the avatar on his Instagram profile. He regarded like a villain in an motion flick, staring into the digicam excessive of his black Ray-Bans.

At 2:31 am on Might 14, 2020, she DM’d him.

“Hey Kevin I’ve a intercourse tape involving some celebrities who’re not collectively however need some recommendation on making essentially the most cash.”

Because the couple went to sleep that night time, Amber assumed they had been losing their time. A giant shot like Kevin Blatt was by no means going to jot down again. Perhaps that Instagram account wasn’t truly his. She seen it didn’t also have a blue checkmark.

That very same afternoon, a reply appeared: “Can u ship me a quantity to name you?”

A film star’s agent won’t ever take a name from a stranger, however Kevin Blatt reads each message and follows up on each tip. You by no means know who may need the products. Over the previous 20 years, Blatt has turn out to be a one-man clearinghouse for the whole lot seedy in Hollywood—the fixer you name while you need to see whether or not the factor you will have that might humiliate a well-known particular person is price something.

“If they’ve one thing actually unhealthy, sufficient to jeopardize a sponsorship or a brand new TV present, we attempt to flip it into cash,” Blatt tells me. “Everyone will get paid if they arrive to me and we do it the precise approach.”

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