Long before Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian and Pamela Anderson entertained viewers with their sex tapes, Rob Lowe was caught in scandal in 1988 when a sex tape featuring him and two women (one of whom was just 16) was leaked to the press.

While he settled a lawsuit with the underage girl’s family — maintaining he didn’t know she was 16 — the 55-year-old actor now sees the sex-tape scandal as a defining moment in his life, forcing him to take a good, hard look at the path he was on.

Promoting his new stage show, “Stories I Only Tell My Friends: LIVE!”, Lowe sat down with SiriusXM’s “The Jess Cagle Show” to explain how his sex tape wound up changing his life for the better.

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“Any time you’re doing a memoir or a book, a show about your life, job one is authenticity and full transparency. There can’t be like, ‘Oh there’s that one area that I won’t talk about.’ You can’t do that. So that’s in there,” Lowe explained.

“My whole life is there,” he added, joking that even though he “invented” the sex tape, he “didn’t make any money off of it like everybody does now.”

The ensuing scandal, however, “is one of the reasons why I got sober. I woke up one day and I was like, ‘What am I doing with my life?’ I’m 29 years in and like people talk, but it’s the best thing that ever happened to me.”

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He added: “Honestly, I do because 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.”