LOS ANGELES - Actor Verne Troyer prevailed in court Friday as a federal judge granted his request for a temporary restraining order to halt the release of a sex tape featuring the "Austin Powers" star and his former live-in girlfriend, Ranae Shrider.
U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez ruled that Troyer "will suffer irreparable harm to his reputation" if the video is released. Best known for his role as Mini-Me opposite Mike Myers in "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" and its sequel "Goldmember," Troyer is currently featured in Myers' new comedy "The Love Guru."
Celebrity gossip site TMZ exposed the so-called "Mini-Me Sex Tape" on Wednesday, posting a 25-second clip from the video that showed the couple kissing. Adult video-on-demand provider SugarDVD quickly jumped on the bandwagon, publicizing a $100,000 offer for the full 50-minute video. The mini-media circus continued as celebrity sex-tape broker Kevin Blatt went public with graphic descriptions of the video's content.
Troyer immediately filed suit against TMZ, SugarDVD and Blatt, claiming the video was stolen from his home and seeking $20 million in damages. The judge's order prevents any adult video distributor from taking orders for the video and blocks TMZ from posting any further excerpts from the tape.
TMZ pulled down the original clip Friday evening, and SugarDVD has removed all mention of the offer for the video from its Web site. Judge Gutierrez may issue a more binding preliminary injunction in the case unless TMZ and other parties can show a valid reason for releasing the footage. The temporary order expires July 7.
While Blatt admitted shopping the tape to porn industry buyers after he viewed it several weeks ago, he maintains that he never actually possessed a copy. Blatt insists he backed away from brokering the video when he learned that the actor had not consented to its release.
"It's baseless," Blatt said of Troyer's lawsuit. "I look forward to the real story coming out."