June 28, 2008 / 12:07 AM / 10 years ago

Actor Verne Troyer sues TMZ.com over sex tape

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Dwarf actor Verne Troyer, a star of “The Love Guru,” has sued celebrity Web site TMZ.com and other defendants seeking more than $20 million in damages over a sex tape he said was stolen and posted online.

Troyer, who played the diminutive character Mini-Me in the “Austin Powers” movies, is shown in the tape with former girlfriend Renae Shrider.

Also named in the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Thursday, was producer Kevin Blatt, said to be a promoter of the 2004 sex tape featuring celebrity heiress Paris Hilton, and movie distribution company SugarDVD.

“The videotape was never intended by either plaintiff or his girlfriend to be shown to the public, and was always intended exclusively for plaintiff’s own personal, private use,” states the lawsuit, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters.

The tape was posted on TMZ on Wednesday, with a headline that included the words “avert your eyes.”

Actor Verne Troyer gestures at the premiere of "The Love Guru" in Hollywood in this June 11, 2008 file photo. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/Files

Troyer, 39, is 2 feet, 8 inches tall.

He claims the tape was stolen, and accuses TMZ Productions Inc, which operates TMZ.com, of violating his privacy. His lawyers are seeking an injunction to have the tape removed from the Internet and not otherwise distributed.

TMZ officials were not immediately available to comment.

The suit estimates expected profits from the video to be $20 million, and seeks all profits earned. Troyer claims that he only found out on Wednesday, when the video was posted at TMZ.com, that it was in the hands of the defendants.

In 2004, Troyer went to court to dispute a contention from model Genevieve Gowman -- whose professional name was Genevieve Gallen -- that the two were legally married that year.

Troyer has worked in Hollywood for more than a decade, getting his start as a stunt double for an infant in the film “Baby’s Day Out.” In “The Love Guru,” which stars Mike Myers, he plays an ice hockey coach.


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