Pam & Tommy has everything you’d expect and more: epic '90s needle drops, uncanny physical transformations by lead actors Lily James and Sebastian Stan, and a scandal that shocked the early days of the World Wide Web.
The Hulu series takes viewers back to one of the most well-known stories in celebrity history: the theft of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee’s private sex tape and its mass distribution. It also shows how Rand Gauthier, played in the series by Seth Rogen, was a key part of the tape's rise to infamy.
But who is Rand Gauthier and where is he now? Let's dive in!
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Who is Rand Gauthier?
Rand Gauthier grew up in Los Angeles and had a keen interest in cults and conspiracies. Before his association with Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee, Gauthier not only dated a porn actress in the 1980s but also performed in over 70 porn videos using the name “Austin Moore.”
As well as doing adult videos, Gauthier was also an electrician and was hired to work on Lee’s home renovation. While he only worked on the job for three months before getting fired, his being on the renovation at the time of the theft has meant he was blamed for allegedly stealing the celebrity couple's sex tape.
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Why did Rand Gauthier steal the tape?
Allegedly, in 1995, Tommy Lee owed Gauthier $20,000 for his work, as he was allegedly fed up with Lee and Anderson and no longer wanted to work on their property. However, when he and a general contractor came back to the couple’s mansion on Mulholland Highway to get their tools, it's alleged that Lee pointed a shotgun at Gauthier and told him to get off his property, reports Rolling Stone (opens in new tab).
It’s at this point Gauthier decided to seek revenge and scope out the couple’s property, from which he stole a safe and sawed it open, revealing guns, jewelry, and yes, an infamous home video of the couple. He took the tape to a porn studio in North Hollywood, where he and adult film producer Milton Ingley made copies of the tape before seeking out a distributor, who would allow them to distribute the video without having signed releases from Lee and Anderson. After eventually getting funding from Louis “Butchie” Peraino, man with connections to a New York mob family, Gauthier and his partner began advertising online, selling and shipping the tapes to buyers.
When the tapes had been distributed, Gauthier was so paranoid of retribution he spent over a year in hiding. At this point, he had already been jumped by a biker gang rumored to have been friends with Tommy Lee. In 1997 Gauthier and his partner were forced to close the site even though they had not paid back their mob-linked distributor, which saw Gauthier working as a collector for the mob to pay back his share of the debt.
The Rolling Stone story also revealed that, when asked about the tape in 2014, Gauthier said: “It was cute. They’re in love and a couple and they’re just having fun with each other, and I think that’s great. I’m jealous. I wish I had something like that.”
How much did Rand Gauthier make?
Ironically enough, Gauthier himself didn't personally see much of the money made from the tape. Of the profits, of which were reported $77 million in the first year alone according to The Cinemaholic (opens in new tab), most of it went to Seth Warshavsky’s Internet Entertainment Group, which distributed the tape.
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Did Rand Gauthier go to jail?
Surprisingly, no! Gauthier nor his accomplices were ever charged for stealing the safe or distributing the tape. Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee filed multiple lawsuits once they discovered the tape was being sold but failed to legally stop the sale and distribution of the tape. They eventually gave away rights to the tape to Seth Warshavsky and his Internet Entertainment Group.
Where is Rand Gauthier now?
In the twenty-six years since the scandal, Gauthier has lived a much quieter life since releasing Anderson and Lee’s sex tape. The 65-year-old lives in Santa Rosa, California, where he reportedly grows marijuana plants and tells anyone who will listen that he’s the guy who stole Pam and Tommy's sex tape.
Liv is a freelance journalist currently studying English at university. She loves covering everything from entertainment and politics to lifestyle and travel. As well as writing for My Imperfect Life, Liv has bylines in The Times, HuffPost, Den of Geek, Bustle The Metro and The Bookseller.
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