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Judge orders sex tape removed

Actor Verne Troyer is suing website TMZ for posting a video that he says was stolen from his residence.

June 28, 2008|Harriet Ryan | Times Staff Writer

A federal judge ordered the gossip site TMZ.com Friday to remove clips of a private sex tape actor Verne Troyer says was stolen from his residence.

Troyer, best known for his portrayal of Mini Me in the "Austin Powers" films, filed suit Thursday seeking more than $20 million in damages for posting portions of a tape the actor made with a former girlfriend.

U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez issued a temporary restraining order against TMZ and two other parties allegedly attempting to sell the video after ruling that Troyer "demonstrated a strong likelihood of success" in his suit.

According to court papers, the video of Troyer and former girlfriend Renae Schrider was stolen from the actor's residence in the last few months and "was never intended . . . to be shown to the public."

The judge's order prohibits TMZ, promoter Kevin Blatt and SugarDVD, an online distributor of adult films, from selling or distributing the video.

On Wednesday, TMZ broadcast clips from the video on its television show and posted clips on its website, according the suit.

TMZ reported that Blatt, who brokered the sale of Paris Hilton's sex tape, "is entertaining a $100K offer from Sugar- DVD to distribute the video."

Representatives for TMZ did not return calls seeking comment.

In a message on its website, SugarDVD touted the "existence of one of the most shocking and controversial celebrity sex tapes to date," but said it would release the video only "if Verne gives his consent."

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harriet.ryan@latimes.com

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