Tiziana Cantone, from Naples, Italy, was filmed performing a sex act on her lover in the explicit footage, widely shared on social media.
The 31-year-old killed herself in her basement after spending months feeling deeply depressed about the tape, according to her loved ones.
She could not handle the negative attention - including mocking memes - that stemmed from the leak, her close friends and relatives claim.
In the tape, Tiziana could reportedly be heard saying: "Are you making a video? Bravo."
This phrase was subsequently used by many YouTube users who made parodies of the footage and shared them online.
When the sex tape began to go viral, Tiziana apparently began receiving nasty and inappropriate messages, leaving her feeling ashamed.
She was also reportedly often recognised on the street and even had to quit her job.
The intimate footage became so widely known that the young woman was even forced to change her name in a bid to escape the abuse.
She reportedly underwent a legal process at the court of Naples North, where she was granted a new legal name to avoid being recognised.
Her lawyer, Roberta Manzillo, has since taken action against various Internet platforms, as well as people responsible for sharing the sex tape on social networks.
The lawyer said: "We have appealed to right to be forgotten law. Facebook was immediately ordered to remove the content from its social network platform and to remove every post or publication containing images (photos and / or video) that refer specifically to the person."
Tiziana had allegedly been on the brink of suicide for months before her death.
Prosecutors in her home city of Naples have opened an investigation into her passing, leaving open the possibility of criminal charges being filed.
It is not clear how the sex tape was leaked, but La Repubblica suggests that Tiziana sent several videos to five friends whom she trusted.