The past is never perfect, but there was one skeleton in Rob Lowe’s closet that son John Owen Lowe didn’t expect to stumble upon.
John Owen opened up to Men’s Health about the moment he learned of his father’s infamous sex tape from the late ’80s, filmed during the 1988 Democratic National Convention, in an interview published Tuesday. In 1989, Lowe faced a lawsuit from the mother of a 16-year-old girl involved in the tape. The actor denied knowing the girl was underage, according to CBS News and Yahoo.
“I was in eighth grade or freshman year of high school, and some kid said, ‘You know, your dad has a sex tape online,’ ” John Owen, 28, recalled. “I was like, ‘What?’ “
“You know what it’s kind of like? Santa Claus,” John Owen continued. “I don’t think most parents ever have that moment where they sit the kids down and go, ‘Okay, we’ve got to tell you something.’ A kid just figures it out. There weren’t milestone markers, like, ‘Okay, he’s 16 now, time for them to learn about this part of our life.’ “
Lowe jokingly added: “Wikipedia and Google took care of that for us.”
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Lowe previously got candid about the scandal during an appearance on SiriusXM’s “The Jess Cagle Show” in October 2019. Lowe said the ordeal played a pivotal role in his sobriety journey.
“People talk about it, I go, ‘I think it’s the best thing that ever happened to me,'” Lowe said at the time. “Honestly, I do, ’cause it got me sober. Sober got me married. 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. I really don’t.”
The Brat Pack actor got sober in 1990 and celebrated 29 years on Instagram in May 2019.
“Thank you to all those who have inspired me on this wonderful, challenging and life-changing journey,” Lowe captioned a photo of his younger self. “If you, or someone you know, are struggling with alcohol or addiction, there can be a future of hope, health and happiness. And it comes one day at a time.”
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Contributing: Erin Jensen, USA TODAY
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: John Owen Lowe opens up about shock of father Rob Lowe’s sex tape