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Rob Lowe slammed for calling sex tape scandal involving 16-year-old girl the ‘best thing that’s ever happened to me’

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Long before Paris Hilton, Pam and Tommy, and Kim Kardashian, Rob Lowe was involved with a sex tape scandal of his own. In 1988, the then-24-year-old Brat Packer filmed his hook-up with 16-year-old Jan Parsons and her 22-year-old female friend; the pair took home the footage, which was made public the following year when Parsons’ estranged mother filed a civil suit against the actor.

The encounter took place in Georgia — just before the 1988 Democratic National Convention in Atlanta, which Lowe was attending in support of presidential candidate Michael Dukakis. Despite Parsons’ age, it was not considered illegal because the state’s age of consent at the time was 14. Lowe, who denied seducing the teen and claimed to have not known her actual age, settled the case and agreed to perform community service.

Actor Rob Lowe poses at the premiere of "How to Be a Latin Lover" in Los Angeles, California, U.S. April 26, 2017. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Rob Lowe's comments about his sex tape have sparked backlash. (Photo: REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)

Lowe’s career suffered significant blowback at the time, though he went on to rehabilitate his image thanks to shows like “The West Wing” and “Parks and Recreation.” Now, some 30 years after the racy footage — which also included a second tryst with a model and Lowe’s male friend — leaked, the 55-year-old actor is calling it “the best thing that ever happened to me.”

“Got me sober, sober got me married,” he explained in an interview with Jess Cagle for Sirius XM. “I’ve been married 29 years and I have two great sons. I don’t think any of that happens without going through that scandal.”

Lowe also joked that he “invented” the sex tape, adding, “The problem was, I didn’t make any money off of it like everybody does. I was too stupid.”

He also spoke of the importance of being transparent about his past — but some critics say he overstepped the mark, and accused him of making light about an incident involving a teen girl.

Lowe’s interview comes three years after comedians joked about his sex tape scandal and Parsons’s age during his 2016 Comedy Central roast.

“Rob Lowe defies age … restrictions,” comedian Nikki Glaser quipped. “You look like you are sculpted. You put the statue in statutory rape.”

“I had such a crush on Rob as a little girl,” she added. “If only I knew that’s when I would have had my best shot.”

“Rob Lowe. Or as the girls in the sex tape said, ‘Rob, no,’” joked roaster Jeffrey Ross.

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