When: 2006

Unlike socialites Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian, who have been accused of using their own leaked sex tapes as a springboard to fame, one such tape ended an Iranian actress' career, nearly led to a public lashing and prompted the country to change its death penalty laws. Zahra Amir Ebrahimi, a soap star on the since-cancelled show "Narges," drew her nation's fury in 2006 when a sex tape allegedly featuring her was circulated throughout ultra-conservative Iran. Though the 20-minute video became an underground hit - it is said to have earned $4 million in DVD sales - the video was also a serious crime in Iran. Because she never confessed to her role in the sex tape, Ebrahimi avoided 99 lashes with a leather strap, but she was nonetheless banned from the Iranian film industry that year. After the case, the Parliament of Iran almost unanimously passed a bill making the production and distribution of pornographic material punishable by death.

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