First and foremost, the sex tape was filmed with Kim’s consent. Anyone who saw the tape knows that.
When the tape was “leaked” by Vivid Entertainment, she filed a lawsuit against it but later dropped the suit for some $5 million (according to some resources) and also “allowed them” to release the tape !! It was also reported that Vivid Entertainment got the tape from a “third party” for $ 1 million. This 3rd party was alleged to be Kim’s mother and Kim herself.
In April 2016, Ian Halperin alleged in his book Kardashian Dynasty that Kardashian and her mother, Kris Jenner, had deliberately leaked the sex tape to Vivid Entertainment. According to Halperin, “A mutual friend of Kim and Paris Hilton had advised her that if she wanted to achieve fame, a sex tape would be the way to go … Kim had discussed the idea of producing a tape with her family beforehand … It was Kris who engineered the deal behind the scenes [with Vivid Entertainment] and was responsible for the tape seeing the light of day”.
Obviously, Kim and her family denied all these allegations but I find it all fitting. I mean before the tape was “leaked”, Kim was relatively unknown. People only knew about her as a friend and stylist of Paris Hilton. It was only the tape that gave her a world-wide recognition. Also, the fact that she later allowed the tape to release as “Kim Kardashian, Superstar” should not be ignored.
Edit 1: Sorry, I forgot to mention that the tape was made in 2002 but released in 2007, the same year when “Keeping up with the Kardashians” came out. So, the tape must have helped promoting the show.