Kanye West's cousin claims that Kanye West allegedly paid $250,000 to keep his sex tape from leaking, and that incident may've been the beginning of the downfall that led to his recent hospitalization, according to The Daily Mail.

Kanye's cousin, Lawrence Franklin, told the paper that the incident caused the rapper to mistrust many people in his inner-circle, which he detailed on the song "Real Friends" from his The Life of Pablo album.

“The sex tape episode started his decline – he stopped trusting people,” Franklin said. “At the end of the day if a member of your family had taken you for a quarter of a million dollars – so they can complete their own ambitions – who can you trust within your circle?”

He says the sex tape was on a laptop which was passed from one family member to another in late 2012.

“I was at my aunt’s house when the family member who had the laptop called me, a friend of his, and my uncle to the kitchen where he opened the laptop to show a video of Kanye in clear view having sex with a fair-skinned black woman,” he shared. “The family member knew what he had was gold, and later called an old friend of his that was an attorney. He put together a small team him and his attorney went after Kanye, and to show that they meant business they leaked a little information publicly to let it be know they indeed had the footage. The family member tried to keep a low profile but it was not long before Kanye’s team learned who it was that had the sex tape.”

He says that Kanye was especially concerned about the tape leaking because the woman featured wasn't his current wife, Kim Kardashian, or ex-girlfriend Amber Rose.

“Eventually the family member agreed to give Kanye the laptop for a large amount of money – more than $250,000, and ensure there were no other copies,” Franklin added. “He was also required to take a lie detector test regarding the laptop. The family member got this money and started to buy himself a lifestyle he dreamed about. This did make Kanye upset, but it was all kept quiet. It caused a huge rift in our family.”

Franklin says that the sex tape incident, compiled with the grief and guilt he felt over his mother, Donda Wests' passing, caused Kanye to begin to spiral.

“He takes a lot of responsibility for that,” Franklin said of Donda’s passing. “When you go from being a regular person to being a huge star – and having all of these mounting issues and being completely void of the normalcy that you once had – it’s tough. Where do you go? Who do you trust at the end of the day?”

Kanye's cousin also touched on another hot button topic regarding Kanye—his Kardashian connection.

“For the most part I don’t look at the Kardashians as real people,” he explained. “Kanye comes from a very family-orientated environment with roots and African American family lifestyle – you know family reunions with food and things like that. The Kardashians are the complete opposite of what’s familiar in our community. So it’s kind of weird for him and I can understand there’s no way for him to release that.”


See Worst to First: Every Kanye West Album Ranked