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The battle over a sex tape featuring Verne Troyer has reignited after that actor sued his ex-girlfriend for $20 million, claiming she allowed snippets of the tape to be released.
Troyer’s lawsuit also claims that ex-girlfriend Ranae Shrider was abusive and inflicted emotional distress on the “Austin Powers” actor.
The new lawsuit comes roughly two weeks after Troyer settled with a porn distributor and broker and successfully blocked the release of the 50-minute tape of him and Shrider having sex. The new suit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court, is an outgrowth of that original claim.
In late June, celebrity gossip site TMZ revealed that the tape existed and was being marketed. The site later disclosed in court documents that Shrider granted it permission to air portions of the tape.
Troyer originally claimed in court papers that the tape had been stolen. His lawsuit states that detail was included because Shrider tearfully told Troyer that she did not know how the tape became public and that it must have been taken from their home.
Shrider’s attorney, Keith Davidson, said none of the defendants had been served with the lawsuit and attacked it for being leaked to celebrity gossip site TMZ before it was officially filed.
“The recently revealed lawsuit that was sheepishly leaked to the press by Troyer’s attorney is an abomination of the legal process,” Davidson wrote in an e-mail to the Associated Press.
He claimed Troyer was being “vindictive, heartbroken” and is a “trivial celebrity” who filed the suit to keep his name in the limelight.
Troyer is best-known for his role as Mini Me in two of the “Austin Powers” movies. His current lawsuit claims that the dissemination of the tape is an invasion of privacy, misappropriation of his name, voice and likeness, and a copyright violation.
He is asking a federal judge to grant a temporary injunction, barring Shrider and others from trying to sell the tape. Troyer is also seeking the return or destruction of all copies of the video.
The lawsuit also names another woman, Holly Bannon, who Troyer’s attorney claims is trying to broker the tape along with an attorney, Okorie Okorocha. Okorocha said he has never seen the tape and simply tried to negotiate a deal between Troyer and a client who has since dropped him.
In addition to seeking damages for the release of the tape, Troyer’s new lawsuit also claims Shrider refused to move out of Troyer’s home after their breakup, and at one point pinned him to a wall and broke a video camera.
The lawsuit concedes Troyer declined to press charges against Shrider after one incident in which he claimed she stole his medication.
Troyer’s attorney, Ed McPherson, has said that the actor will pursue all possible legal action to keep the tape from being sold.
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