Why Robert Kraft is largely powerless over fate of his spa videotapes

Alex Reimer
April 23, 2019 - 11:39 am

For the last two months, all of us armchair lawyers have assumed the fate of Robert Kraft’s spa sex tapes depend on whether his attorneys successfully convince a judge to seal the videos in regards to his case. But that’s wrong. The case involving spa manager Hua Zhang, who’s facing 26 charges for allegedly managing a widespread prostitution ring, is the one to watch.

We received our first glimpse of this reality last week, when Florida prosecutors told the judge presiding over Zhang’s case that state law compels them to release the tapes of Kraft and the other johns immediately. Judge Joseph Marx denied the motion and issued a temporary protection order. He will hold a hearing about the videos on April 29, which is three days after Kraft’s attorneys will make their arguments for suppression in front of the judge in charge of his case. 

Even if Judge Hasner sides with Kraft’s high-powered lawyers, who are arguing the surveillance warrants were obtained unlawfully, the tapes could still be made available to the public. Media organizations are fighting to obtain the evidence as well.

As Sports Illustrated’s Michael McCann notes, Kraft is waging battle over the videotapes on multiple fronts. In addition to legal avenues of release, the possibility remains they could be leaked on the black market. The celebrity gossip website The Blast, which was founded by an ex-TMZ news director, says it was recently approached with an offer to purchase the salacious Kraft tapes. 

Since the videos have been in the state’s possession for months, it’s likely dozens of people who work for the state of Florida or town of Jupiter can access them. As we all know, digital files can be shared via text message, email or other means. It’s possible many copies of these videos are out there, just waiting to be published as soon as one of these tawdry tabloid outlets pays the right price.

With that harrowing scenario in mind, perhaps Kraft would be better off if the tapes were just released through authorized channels, where portions of the videos would probably be blurred and redacted. 

Last week, ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio told “Mut & Callahan” it seems inevitable the Kraft videos will come out. Prosecutors will receive multiple chances to try and make that happen.