Close to a month ago, Troyer, who rose to fame for his role as Mini Me in the “Austin Powers” films, had his lawsuit against Kevin Blatt, TMZ.com and SugarDVD dismissed by a U.S. District Court with prejudice.
Since then, the location of the tape has come into question and who is actually in possession of the tape depends on whose story you believe.
According to a story in the Los Angeles Times , the tape is now either in the possession of an offshore company known as Twin Palms, or with an unknown man who purchased the tape from Ranae Shrider, Troyer’s ex-girlfriend, in her front yard on Tuesday for $5,000.
Shrider’s manager, Holly Bannon, was quoted in the Times as saying, “He just said, 'Here's some money.' She just wanted to be rid of it, so she said OK.”
Bannon said that the deal was all in cash and involved no paperwork.
Troyer’s lawyer, Ed McPherson, was unimpressed with Shrider’s story, telling the Times, “Come on! Some guy just pulled up to the curb and gave her five grand? Was it in a paper bag?”
As for the competing side of the story, no one has been able to verify the accuracy of the name Twin Palms or even whether or not the company truly exists. Kevin Blatt, who had previously been attempting to broker a deal for the tape , said that he is sure that the tape is now in possession of Twin Palms.
“I know that’s where it is and if it’s in the hands of an offshore company, you better believe it’s coming out,” Blatt said. “McPherson and Associates have been adamant about the fact that they’re stopping the tape from coming out, but they aren’t doing a God damn thing about it.”
Blatt said that Troyer has been completely unwilling to give his consent to the tape’s release, even when offered half a million dollars.
“I know from talking with Verne’s people and him, that he’s adamant about it not coming out. He’s been offered up to $500,000 and he still said no. His lawyer said that maybe he’ll give his consent when ‘The Love Guru’ surpasses $100 million.”
According to Allan Gelbard, a First Amendment attorney who has worked with a number of companies in the adult industry, releasing the video legally without Troyer’s consent would not be easy.
“If it’s her camera, she may actually own the copyright to the DVD, but she can’t distribute it without his permission,” Gelbard said. “Under U.S. law, you can’t distribute a sexually explicit tape without appropriate documentation. I’m pretty sure Troyer didn’t sign a 2257 form, and that’s a violation of federal criminal law.”
Gelbard went on to say that if Shrider did in fact sell the tape to a buyer who wanted it solely for personal viewing, that would be fine, provided she owned the copyright. If she sold it to someone who wanted to distribute it, however, things might be more difficult.
“If I shoot a movie and I sell the video itself to someone, they can sell [that copy]. But unless they have something in writing from me that says they have the right to make any copies or redistribute, they can’t do it.”
Blatt, who insists he is completely removed from the proceedings, said that the tape’s location in limbo is probably the best thing for Troyer.
“I hope it never comes out for Verne’s sake,” Blatt said. “Because I’ve seen that thing and it’s not a pretty picture.”