While speaking to the Daily Mail, Kanye West's cousin Lawrence Franklin confirmed that the rapper paid $250,000 to stop a sex tape leaking. According to Franklin, it wasn't him that found that sex tape but another family member, who discovered the footage on a laptop West had gifted to him in 2012, the same year he started dating Kim Kardashian.
West has referenced the sex tape and the $250,000 payment multiple times in his tracks, but until now it was unconfirmed if it actually happened. In West’s song "Real Friends", he says "I had a cousin that stole my laptop that I was f*ckin’ bitches on. Paid that n**** 250 thousand just to get it from him. Real friends … Huh?". The moment also crops up again in "No More Parties in L.A." with the lyric "And as far as real friends, tell all my cousins I love ‘em, even the one that stole the laptop, you dirty motherfucker."
Franklin goes on to talk about how that sex tape moment really started his mental decline, as he separated himself from the family and started to feel like he couldn't trust anyone:
"The sex tape episode started his decline – he stopped trusting people. At the end of the day if a member of your family had taken you for a quarter of a million dollars – so they can complete their own ambitions – who can you trust within your circle? This was also around the time when his mother has just died and he takes a lot of responsibility for that. When you go from being a regular person to being a huge star – and having all of these mounting issues and being completely void of the normalcy that you once had – it’s tough. Where do you go? Who do you trust at the end of the day?"