TV & Movies
Where Is Rand Gauthier From Pam & Tommy Today?
The real-life electrician was not consulted on the new Hulu series.
Since Hulu released photos of actors Lily James and Sebastian Stan transformed into Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee last spring for the network’s new biopic series Pam & Tommy, the buzz has been growing. The eight-episode show dedicates significant airtime to the ill-fated electrician Rand Gauthier, played by Seth Rogen, who in 2014 told a Rolling Stone reporter that he’d stolen the couple’s infamous sex tape and was responsible for making it public — initially via VHS tapes sold online for $59.95. When it was later uploaded to the internet, it made $77 million in legitimate sales in under a year, according to Rolling Stone.
The show follows Gauthier’s rise and fall, including his brief financial windfall from the tape and subsequent fall from grace, including a grisly entanglement with the mob. “Most people who are acting badly are doing so from a very simple place,” said Rogen about Gauthier, in a recent interview with Variety. “I wanted to play Rand as someone who has very little going on in his head. Someone whose ultimately evil acts aren’t done out of some amazing and deep thought process, but actually out of a complete lack of thinking and caring about how his actions would affect other people.”
Below, read more about Gauthier, how he got his hands on the sex tape, and where he is now.
Who Is Rand Gauthier?
In his 2014 interview with Rolling Stone, Gauthier described his Los Angeles childhood as troubled: His parents divorced when he was young, and his mother later became a Jehovah’s Witness, a group that Gauthier describes as “mentally deficient.” His relationship with his father, the actor Dick Gautier, was even more fraught. He remembers him as hot-tempered and easily disappointed, so Gauthier — who changed his name as an adult to distinguish himself from Dad — struck a different path. (Gautier appeared in the original 1960 Broadway production of Bye Bye Birdie and acted in the 1960s sitcom Get Smart, which satirized James Bond.)
As a young man, he started dating an adult-film actress, who introduced him to the industry. Though he appeared in several adult films, he didn’t love the job, and told Rolling Stone that he found “a bunch of dudes watching me [have sex] kind of grode.”
Instead, he became an electrician — which led to a job working on the renovation of Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson’s Los Angeles home. According to Gauthier, the couple fired him despite owing him $20,000, claiming his work wasn’t up to par. When he and a colleague went back to the house to collect their tools, Lee threatened them with a shotgun. That was the last straw to Gauthier’s wounded pride, and he decided to rob the house. “I was never really that popular with people,” he told Rolling Stone. “But I had never been held at gunpoint. It screwed with my head.”
How Did Rand Gauthier Get The Sex Tape?
After being fired from the renovation gig, Gauthier spent the summer of 1995 surveilling Lee and Anderson’s home and movements with robbery in mind. In October, he made it onto their gated property and stole a six-foot-tall Browning safe from their garage, which he cut into using a demolition saw. Inside he found jewelry, watches, the white bikini Anderson wore at the couple’s wedding, family photos, and a Hi8 video tape, which contained footage of the couple having sex. (Rolling Stone notes that how, exactly, Gauthier pulled off the robbery remains a mystery, and Hulu’s Pam & Tommy presents its own version of the events.)
Despite his resentment of Lee, Gauthier thought the sex tape of him and Anderson was “cute,” he told Rolling Stone in 2014. “They’re in love and a couple and they’re just having fun with each other, and I think that’s great.”
Through his connections in the adult film industry, he and his partner, adult film studio owner Milton Ingley, secured funding to distribute it from mob boss Louis “Butchie” Peraino, who had financed the release of legendary adult film Deep Throat. He loaned the duo around $50,000 to sell copies of the tape online. For a brief period, Gauthier and Ingley had it made: They “owned” the hottest commodity in the adult film world. Soon though, bootleg copies began to circulate, and because Gauthier couldn’t own the copyright to stolen material, he couldn’t sue anyone who sold those bootleg copies — or, eventually, uploaded it online, where it was much cheaper and more easily accessible than it had been when he and Ingley were selling VHS copies.
Soon after, Ingley fled the country and Gauthier’s sudden influx of cash dried up. As a result, he found himself in hot water with Peraino, who forced him to collect debts on his behalf. “Knees are a little harder to break than most people think, so I came up with my own idea,” Gauthier told Rolling Stone, before describing a method of splashing ammonia in his people’s faces and breaking their collarbones.
Where Is Rand Gauthier Now?
Gauthier isn’t breaking bones anymore. In 2007, he moved from Los Angeles to Santa Rosa, California, where he works as an electrician, according to his professional bio. He is, per his website, “the owner of Q Electrical Services, a company which specializes in the wiring of motor controls and speed drive technology.” He also spends time “restoring sports cars and motorcycles, playing tennis, and practicing the Korean martial art Tae Kwon Do.” He was not consulted by the producers of Hulu’s Pam & Tommy.