PORN VALLEY—Google Shauna Sand's name, and at the bottom of the page, after the stories about her failed marriage to Lorenzo Lamas, her trysts with younger men, her penchant for walking nude on nude beaches and her dropping her lawsuit against Vivid, the site suggests "searches related to Shauna Sand": "shauna sand surgery" (yes, her tits are augmented) ... and "shauna sand lucite"? (Turns out it's a reference to her favorite footwear, Lucite platform "stripper" shoes.)
What doesn't show up, however, is Shauna's immense popularity in Europe, notably Germany, where she's about to star in the second part of a reality show about her life and career called, puzzlingly, Red, and France, where she went to the American University in Paris, earning a bachelor of arts in international business, and where she's a favorite cover girl on French magazines.
"I'm very famous in France," Sand told AVN in an exclusive interview. "I think a lot of it is due to the fact that I speak fluent French. I think it's quite rare to find an American who speaks fluent French but yet I still have an accent, which they adore. They're very fond of Americans, especially blonde Playmate™ ones, which has worked to my advantage, so I'm not complaining. I love France, I love French people; I've been married to two French guys. I really love it over there. I did a semester in Italy as well, but I just recently did a TV show in Paris, and then I think I did 30 magazine covers and layouts. I just shot another layout at the beach in Santa Monica for some French magazines."
But what's made Shauna of interest to hardcore movie fans is that one of the reported "several" sex tapes she's done with various husbands and boyfriends has now been released by Vivid Entertainment Group—and with the actress/model's own blessings.
"This was with my ex-boyfriend," Shauna said. "We were together for six months, and we went on vacation in Miami about three months ago, just having fun, and we decided to film our trip, and we got kind of bored because it was raining one day, so we just started—we were stuck in the room and we didn't know what to do; I guess we were just having fun and being silly and we had great chemistry together, so we just started filming, and that's how that happened."
But though Sand says she broke up with her French boyfriend, Antoine, in late October, she's pretty sure he wasn't the one who brought the tape to Vivid.
"It was stolen," Sand stated. "I don't know who had stolen it, because we'd been living in hotels for seven months. I was in Miami working, and then I went to Paris to do a TV show and magazine covers in Paris because I speak French, and now I'm back in Los Angeles living in hotels, and I'm missing tapes, I'm missing the camera, I'm missing half of my clothes, sunglasses—stuff has just disappeared and I don't know who to blame. I have an idea who it is but I won't accuse anybody until I'm completely sure—but there's just been so many people in and out, housekeepers in and out, it's been kind of a disaster."
Whoever stole the tape, it wound up at Vivid in late September, and by Oct. 12, the company had launched a special Web page, "Shauna Sand Exposed," which features excerpts from the Miami tape as a promotion for the eventual release of the hardcore footage on DVD.
But while Shauna's no stranger to appearing nude in print—she was the May, 1996 Playboy Playmate, been featured on the magazine's cover five times and has appeared in softcore videos for Playboy and others, noting, "I've always felt very comfortable and proud of my body"—she says she wasn't prepared to have her lovemaking displayed for the world to see.
"The video is private property and was not created or intended for sale or public distribution," Sand's attorney, Brooks J. Holcomb, wrote to Vivid in mid-October.
But according to Vivid CEO Steven Hirsch, Sand had signed a release form for the video, and the company was prepared to hire a handwriting expert to verify her signature if Sand pressed the issue. It was around that time that the actress/model decided that discretion was the better part of valor, and negotiated a deal with Vivid.
"You know, I was in shock and really depressed for about a week when I realized it had been stolen, and it was all over the place," Sand reported. "But then I realized, 'You know what? I had so much fun making it, I had probably one of the best times of my life, and I'm just going to accept it and see it more in a positive manner.' My attorney did a cease-and-desist letter to Vivid, but they said they were going to put it out anyway, so then I went and met with the owner, Mr. Steven Hirsch, and we came to an agreement that was in my best interest and in his best interest. I decided to take control of the project and edit it and make sure that it looked beautiful. I chose the music and I subtitled it—most of it's in French—and so now, I'm more part of a team, and that initial shock of 'Oh my gosh, everybody's seeing me in this intimate setting,' I just wanted to make it something positive and know that it's beautiful. It is what it is and I'm not ashamed of it, I'm proud of it, and leave it at that."
Sand, who's been acting since she was 9, already had the requisite skills for the task, since she's directed some episodes of the TV show Renegade, which starred her ex-husband Lorenzo Lamas, and is as comfortable behind the camera as in front. So when the disc, Shauna Sand Exposed, was released on Oct. 19, it was something of which she could be proud.
But we had to ask: Did part of the Vivid deal include Shauna appearing in or directing other hardcore features?
"No, this is a one-time shot," she said. "I put 100 percent into this project because that's what I decided to do, but I don't really want to pursue a career in the porn industry. Although I had a lot of fun making this, I definitely don't want to watch anybody else having sex and direct them; that's not my thing. That would freak me out."
Shauna Sand Exposed, released under the Vivid-Celeb imprint, is available from adult retailers worldwide.
This article originally ran in the January 2010 issue of AVN.