Rob Lowe: My 1988 sex tape ‘is the best thing that ever happened to me’

2019 Fox Upfront

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was Rob Lowe making a sex tape with a 16-year-old girl and then somehow getting a second-chance career only to blow that too. And now Rob Lowe thinks he’s some kind of political expert (he is not), or some example of how second-chances work (meh). Let’s go back to the beginning: in 1988, Rob Lowe was 24 years old and he made a sex tape with a 16-year-old and a 22-year-old in a hotel room in Georgia. At the time, the age of consent in Georgia was 14 (!!!), so Lowe wasn’t charged with statutory rape. He did have to settle out of court in some civil cases, and he agreed to 20 hours of community service as a way to avoid being criminally charged for taping the encounter (which was illegal). Professionally, he suffered for a few years but because he’s a white guy, of course he was given a million other chances. And now he talks about that sex tape as “the best thing that ever happened to me.” ORLY.

Rob Lowe doesn’t regret making a sex tape, because, in a way, it helped him get him clean.

“I think it’s the best thing that ever happened to me,” Lowe, 55, said on SiriusXM’s “The Jess Cagle Show.” “Honestly, I do, because it got me sober. Sober got me married. I’ve been married 29 years and I have two great sons, so I don’t think any of that happens without going through that scandal.” He continued, “It was one of the reasons I got sober. I woke up one day and was like, ‘What am I doing with my life? 29 years in.’”

In 1988, the former Brat Pack member videotaped himself having sex with a 16-year-old girl. Lowe was 24 at the time, and the incident occurred the night before he made a show of support for Michael Dukakis at the 1988 Democratic National Convention. As a result of the scandal, his movie career was put on pause, and Lowe later made his return on the small screen, with the hit political drama “The West Wing” in 1999.

“The problem was, I didn’t make any money off of it like everybody does now,” Lowe told Cagle of the tape, seemingly alluding to similar scandals involving Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton, whose own sex tapes were released for sale to the public. “I was too stupid.”

However, Lowe has since taken his life experiences on the road with a live show, based on his 2012 memoir, “Stories I Only Tell My Friends.”

“I talk a lot about recovery in the show, because I think it’s good to see the examples,” he said. “I needed the examples when I was trying to change my life, and it’s moving because it’s a serious, literal life-and-death issue, but it’s also really funny. I do a whole thing about how I loved going to rehab.”

[From Page Six]

On one side, I’m glad he’s clean and sober and I’m happy he’s been able to maintain it for almost three decades. That IS inspirational. Not so inspirational? Making sex tapes with 16-year-olds and still, to this day, speaking about it like it was some huge learning experience and not some gross predatory thing. Well, that’s sort of his brand too – Rob Lowe Knows Best, because he’s a white dude who was given multiple chances even though he kept f–king up.

2019 Fox Upfront

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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43 Responses to “Rob Lowe: My 1988 sex tape ‘is the best thing that ever happened to me’”

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  1. Sayrah says:

    14 was the age of consent in Georgia? Yikes

  2. Em says:

    He seriously thinks that he can speak about it in that flippant tone? That he’s “glad” it happened? Very infuriating.

    • BL says:

      I agree. He sounds like a pedo in that interview. GROSS

    • Xi Tang says:

      “The problem was, I didn’t make any money off of it like everybody does now,” the fuck??? THAT’S the problem with that tape?

      He’s so gross and so are his sons. They used to go to school with my cousins. Disgusting, privileged, trump supporting douchebags. I’m being nice here.

    • Allergy says:

      Yeah I’m sure it was the “best thing” for that girl too.
      He’s so disgusting.

    • Not The One says:

      What this article fails to clarify is that he met the 16 year old in a bar and had no idea that she was 16 until after they had sex

      • Learned One says:

        That is correct @NotTheOne. She even admitted to being served alcohol by the bartender. At the time I believe the drinking age was 18 and he stated he assumed she was at least 18 as she was being served alcohol.

  3. damejudi says:

    If Lowe really learned from the experience, why is speaking with regret about not monetizing the tape?


    • Ashley says:

      yeah, I understood where he was coming from at first… “best” thing ever because it opened up his eyes to be a better and sober person. A Rock bottom of sorts. But when he started talking about making money from it.. Not great, Bob!

  4. Ann says:

    He wouldn’t have been able to profit because it would have been child p0rn. What a gross and stupid thing to say.

    • Jensies says:

      THIS. He’s so disgusting, totally thinking of profit and not ruining the lives of this 16 yr old CHILD and 22yr old young woman. He has kids this age now. How would he feel about some perv wanting to do this to them. He should be gone to jail. It was child porn.

  5. Dizzy says:

    I just googled the age of consent where I live, it’s 16. Still legal, but still looks bad.

    • Eliza says:

      My state is 16 if you’re within 4 years. So 16 and 20 is legal, but 16 and a 21 year old is not. Otherwise everyone has to be over 18.

  6. Eliza says:

    His sex tape was when he was 24, but his comment indicated at 29 he was reflecting back … 5 years after it. So, was that truly the main catalyst for sobriety?

  7. emmy says:

    God, he is unlikeable.

  8. Original T.C. says:

    I hope someone finds that once 16 year old girl who is now a woman and find out if it’s the best thing that ever happened to her. And last time I checked Kim K was not a 16 year old when she made a sex tape. So super gross to mention making money off his situation with a 16 year old. This is what happens when these White men don’t suffer consequences for their actions.

    • otaku fairy.... says:

      That’s what I thought too. This is peak white male privilege on display. Hopefully the woman is alright now.

    • lanne says:

      I hope that does NOT happen. Whoever that girl was, the woman she is now deserves to live her life on her own terms, not as an asterisk to a mediocre actor’s career. I think it’s awful that the girl that Roman Polanski raped has had to go through her life continually having to talk about that day. It was a horrible experience for her, and even more horrible the way she was vilified afterward. Even though Polanski committed a crime against the state when he raped her, if she says she’s over it, everyone should respect her wishes and LEAVE HER ALONE. (That’s not to exonerate Polanski–but it sucks for her that every time people bring him up, inevitably her name comes up as well, and people want to get her opinion on things). We have managed to go this long without knowing the identity of the girl in Lowe’s video–for her sake, I hope we never know who she is!

  9. Ai says:

    Totally gross and self-centered. It is all about him and not the impact to that young girl.

  10. Sarah says:

    Why am I remembering that the girl was actually a cousin of his? Was that just an urban myth?

    • Christin says:

      I’ve never heard that rumor. Other than their ages, I don’t recall hearing much about the girls involved.

      I’m also trying to remember how the tape actually became public. Those were the days of physical VHS tapes and zero Internet.

  11. ariel says:

    Even if the age of consent was 14, eew, isn’t video of said thing still child porn if she is under 18?
    And, in general, eew.
    I have long regretted my St Elmo’s era crush on him.

    • Ann says:

      Yes, it was/is considered child pornography. This reminds me of Traci Lords a bit. She got a bunch of people in huge trouble for doing porn while underage. It was a huge scandal in the 80s. For Rob Lowe to be so glib and icky about this… well I find it quite shocking because this is all so obvious. I bet we see a lame non-apology for this because the whole story shows a serious lack of judgment and decency.

  12. Christin says:

    I remember when this happened, and it did not go over well. He went from aging-out brat packer to perv overnight (no pun intended).

  13. Lena says:

    He says it’s the best thing that ever happened to him and since it made him get sober I agree to that but I remember when he was the hottest actor around. Then this and his career was just ICED in it’s tracks. So career wise it was the worse thing and certainly wasn’t the best thing for the females humiliated by it all.

    • Tiffany says:

      Yep. And he had to ‘settle’ for television work. You know, having top billing on one of the greatest television shows of all time.

      Bish please.

  14. Doodle says:

    Ugh 😩. He used to be pretty but now he has the face he deserves.

  15. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I lost my ‘innocence’ late 16 to a 24yo. When I look back, it makes me want to vomit. He tried doing things that hurt like a bitch. I’d love to hear Rob’s teenage victim tell her story.

    • Northern_Girl 20 says:

      Same for me well I was 15 and he was 23. It’s my biggest regret and I wish I could go back and not do it. So wrong for a grown man to take advantage of someone so young

  16. Annie says:

    Why does he talk about people who sold their sex tapes and then says he was too stupid? Underage sex tapes are child porn.

    Does he have daughters? Did he ever gain some awareness that some men get after they have a daughter or does he only have sons? It would explain so much.

    • Christin says:

      I think he has two sons.

      I wonder what his wife thinks about his comments. He seemed to choose long term partners who were content to not overshadow him, before and after his scandal.

      • Xi Tang says:

        He bought his wife a business, she knows he’s gross and doesn’t care. They are trump supporters for what it’s worth.

      • Hmmm says:

        rob Lowe and his wife were involved in a scandal just a few years ago with their nanny or maids. She made a lot of allegations against them. They are basically freaks.

  17. Jadedone says:

    I thought he met this 16 year old at a club and she stole and released the sex tape? I could totally be wrong but that’s what I recall.

  18. Hmmm says:

    Hollywood has no problem with any type of child abuse. They love it.

  19. SJR says:

    Just my opinion but, why do celebs always to “hit rock bottom” before they get their sh*t together and go to rehab?

    At day, get yourself to treatment before you do damage to yourself and/others.
    And, lets be clear…white man priviledge + wealthy white man + celeb white man.
    Any working class white dude would have had heck of a time wiggling outta charges on that tape.

  20. MangoAngelesque says:

    I’m no great fan of his, but it’s not like he knew (or had reason to believe) the girl was 16 before he had sex with her. He met her in a bar, she was being served alcohol along with her friends, and so he assumed she was at least 18, since that’s how old you had to be robe in that club and being served drinks.

    So yeah, the taping was skeevy, and nothing excuses that. But people calling him a child abuser and stuff doesn’t seem at all fair, since she did t tell him until AFTER the fact that she was only 16.

  21. A.Key says:

    But everyone just loves Robert Downey Jr. for some reason….

    • Dee says:

      Tell me more about RDJ. I know he’s best friends with Rob and has a skeevy past but nothing like this.

  22. Amy says:

    The tape is child pornography. He predator and a pedo. He shouldn’t get away with going on about how making kiddie porn was “the best thing that ever happened to him.” And then saying he SHOULD HAVE MADE MONEY OFF IT?!?! What the hell. His desire to still, decades later, exploit the underage girl and the young woman (who, even though she was of age, was still the victim of a sex crime) who were in the video whilst giving no regard to their well being (or the law, which, again, classifies the tape as child pornography) is absolutely perverse.