Written by Zoë Holloway, December 20, 2016

The cause of Kanye West’s breakdown is still unknown, but reports have emerged that the incident was contributed to by a family member threatening to release a sex tape of the rapper.

The 39-year-old’s cousin, Lawrence Franklin, has told The Daily Mail that the video depicts Kanye having sex with an unknown woman, and that the video was discovered by someone in Yeezy’s trusted inner-circle, on a laptop he gave away in 2012.

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The family member then threatened to release the video unless the rapper handed over a handsome sum, with Kanye eventually paying $250,000 to the relative to keep it hush.

Lawrence, 31, added that the incident caused Kanye to cut himself off from those around him and ultimately lead to his breakdown and hospitalisation late last month.

‘The sex tape episode started his decline – he stopped trusting people,’  Ye’s cousin explained.

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‘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?

‘This was also around the time when his mother has just died and he takes a lot of responsibility for that. 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?’

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