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Whereabouts of Troyer's sex tape a mystery

The video of the actor and ex-girlfriend has been sold for $5,000 to a 'private collector,' her attorney says.

August 07, 2008|Harriet Ryan | Times Staff Writer

The disclosure of a sex tape featuring actor Verne Troyer and a former girlfriend has resulted in two federal lawsuits, thousands of dollars in legal bills, hundreds of news stories and one nagging question: Who has the tape?

Troyer, best known for his portrayal of Mini Me in the "Austin Powers" films, needs the tape -- or at least a duplicate -- to copyright it as part of his effort to prevent its distribution.

But so far his efforts to track it down have proved fruitless. His search grew more difficult Tuesday when representatives for his co-star on the tape, former girlfriend Ranae Shrider, said she had sold the video for $5,000 to a man who approached her outside her house.

"He just said, 'Here's some money,' " said Shrider's manager, Holly Bannon. "She just wanted to be rid of it, so she said OK."

Bannon and Shrider are named in a multimillion-dollar suit filed in U.S. District Court last week by Troyer, who sought, among other things, access to the tape. Bannon said that the sale was "a cash deal" with no paperwork and that the man gave a name she assumed was false.

Shrider's attorney said she told him that the man wanted the video for private viewing, not commercial use.

"She sold it to a private collector, so I think the suit is baseless," attorney Keith Davidson said.

Told of Shrider's claim, Troyer's attorney was incredulous.

"Come on!" said Edwin McPherson. "Some guy just pulled up to the curb and gave her five grand? Was it in a paper bag? I don't believe this."

Troyer settled a suit last month against broker Kevin Blatt and distributor SugarDVD after they said they would not sell the tape without Troyer's permission. Blatt and representatives from Sugar said Shrider screened the tape for them, but they never had copies. In the more recent suit, Troyer alleges Shrider and her manager were trying to sell the tape to an offshore company identified as Twin Palms.

Pasadena attorney Okorie Okorocha, who is also named in the suit, acknowledged calling Troyer on July 11 on behalf of a client who said he ran an offshore business that had acquired Shrider's rights to the video. But Okorocha said he spoke to the client only once, never knew his last name and had no further contact with him after Troyer rebuffed the offer.

"I never even had the tape. I don't even know if [Twin Palms] is the real name. All these offshore places are shell companies," Okorocha said.

Troyer's relationship with Shrider, whom he met at the Playboy mansion, has grown increasingly hostile with the case's progression. He initially believed the tape was stolen from their home, but court documents indicated Shrider was shopping the tape around town. In his suit, Troyer, who stands 2-foot-8, accuses Shrider, 5-foot-5, of battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress, saying she used her greater size to keep him a prisoner in his own home.

Her lawyer said those allegations were false.

"She doesn't want to be known as the girl in the tape," Bannon said. "She's not a gold digger."


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