Sex Tape Follies: Russians Fumble; Dane, Gayheart Sue Gawker

CYBERSPACE–Two sex tape stories in the headlines remind us one cannot be cautious enough when it comes to video cameras, sex and either hotel rooms or bedrooms, especially if one is a television star or a diplomat assigned to Russia.

This needed to be said?

In the first case, some Russians apparently have released a sex tape they contend shows a married American diplomat having sex with a person not his wife in a hotel room in Moscow. The video is of poor quality and horrendously edited, but nevertheless has gained some traction in international scandal circles. While it clearly shows the diplomat in the room at one point, the section laying bare the couple in flagrante delicto is dark and difficult to make out.

The United States officially complained to the Russian Foreign Ministry about what it claims was a deliberate fabrication meant either to put the diplomat in a compromising and vulnerable position or simply to embarrass him and the U.S. According to Reuters, “Ambassador John Beyrle said a video apparently featuring the diplomat and prostitutes that appeared in the Russian media was ‘clearly fabricated.’"

The Russians, of course, are relatively new at the sex tape game and can be forgiven their bumbling ways. American television stars have no such excuse, though, which makes the next story all the more embarrassing for its… facilitators.

TMZ reported Wednesday that Eric Dane (Dr. Mark Sloan in Grey’s Anatomy) and his actress wife, Rebecca Gayheart (Ugly Betty, The Cleaner) are suing Gawker Media for $1 million because Gawker's Fleshbot website posted the entire 12-minute video clip of them and model Kari Ann Peniche cavorting drunk (or high) and naked in Peniche’s Los Angeles apartment. No explicit sex is shown, but the couple nonetheless is crying foul. 

“Dane and Gayheart filed a lawsuit… in L.A. County Superior Court, claiming had not only unlawfully posted almost 4 minutes of the private video that was shot behind closed doors, but 'maliciously' distributed the video and included nude shots of the fabulous threesome—the third wheel was former beauty queen Kari Ann Peniche,” TMZ reported. 

A later update quoted Gawker publisher Nick Denton twittering a response to the lawsuit. "To quote the great Marty Singer --Eric Dane's lawyer -- if you don't want a sex tape on the internet, 'don't make one!'"

According to MSNBC, “The couple claims the website refused to comply with a cease-and-desist request after first posting the video and then 'went on to maliciously distribute an uncensored copy of the video, gratuitously including nude shots' of the Grey’s Anatomy star, his wife and Peniche. The suit claims the video has gone viral and is now available for viewing on numerous adult websites.”

Check back for more Sex Tape Follies, coming soon to a blog near you.