Celebrity BB star Verne Troyer was a tight-fisted control freak obsessed with sex and spending his days reading about himself on the web, according to his ex-lover,
Tiny Verne, just 2ft 8ins tall, made a million dollars playing Mini Me in the Austin Powers movies – but he wined and dined actress Ranae Shrider in McDonald’s and gave her jewellery “from an arcade machine”.
Ranae, who at 5ft 6ins towered above Verne, says he ordered her around “like a slave”. She ran his errands and read out his bizarre fan mail while he spent all day googling his own name.
She says Verne – then aged 40 – reduced her to tears through his mean behaviour and dangerously heavy drinking.
He and Ranae, then 23, had a six-month fling after meeting at at a New Year’s Eve party thrown by the late Playboy boss Hugh Hefner at his Hollywood mansion.
Soon afterwards, they moved in together, with Verne allowing hard-up Ranae, working as a waitress in a fast-food restaurant between acting jobs, to pay half of the rent.
Speaking to the Sunday Mirror as Verne arrived in the UK to appear on Celebrity Big Brother, she said: “There are two sides to Verne: One is a fun and silly man with a great sense of humour who is lots of fun to be around.
“The other is a horrible, mean-spirited person who is angry at the world and drinks himself close to death to forget how depressed he is.”
The couple split in July 2008 after a home movie Verne had filmed of them having sex was leaked on to the internet.
Ranae says: “Verne was so cheap. On Valentines Day he phoned from Las Vegas and told me he had bought me a five-carat diamond ring.
"I was so excited as I had never had a diamond ring before. But by the time he got home to Los Angeles he claimed he had lost it. We spent ages searching through his bags.
“I realised he was lying when I suggested we phone the diamond store and he refused. In the end he got me a pair of Puma trainers – but I later found out he got them as a freebie.”
Verne tried to make up for the non-existent diamond ring the following month by buying Ranae a “diamond” necklace.
She said: “After we broke up I took it to a pawn shop. The man there bit into it and left teeth marks.
"It was so embarrassing. The man said it was the type of necklace someone would get out of an arcade machine.”
Ranae says she initially felt no attraction for Verne, and when he asked for her number at the party she gave it to him “as a joke”.
But he called at 10am the next day and she agreed to meet him out of curiosity.
She said: “Our first date was at his house. We just watched American Idol and played video games. Back then Verne was living in a guesthouse at the back of his manager’s house.
“It was a specially designed for him, with a miniature futon and miniature bathroom and so on, with the lights all on a lower level so he could reach them.
"But I wasn’t freaked out. I’m an odd person myself and not a lot weirds me out. I don’t date normal people!
“I started going to his house every evening and before long I started falling for him. We had our first kiss after the first few dates.
"We were lying on the bed and I just leaned over and kissed him.
"Verne is a good kisser and he seemed like a pretty cool guy – and that was the attraction. But first impressions can be deceptive.”
Ranae says she held out for a month before sleeping with Verne – then decided she would only to test her true feelings for him.
But their first night together was anything but romantic.
Ranae said: “To be honest, most of the night was horrible. I closed my eyes and thought ‘charity work’, meaning I was doing it for him and not me.”
Ranae claims their sex life never got any better – much to the frustration of Verne.
“In the time we were together we made love only six times as I would always find excuses for why I couldn’t do it,” she said.
“Verne would get mad and tell me that if we were not having sex we could never be anything more than friends.
“I wanted to be his girlfriend, but I never enjoyed the sexual part of our relationship.”
Despite their problems, in March 2009 the couple decided to rent an apartment.
Verne claimed he had “cashflow problems”, so Ranae volunteered to pay half of the £1,100-a-month rent, thinking he would be too gallant to accept. But he did, without hesitation.
Ranae said: “Verne was a nightmare to live with. He refused to do anything for himself and would order me around like a slave.
“It’s not that he couldn’t take care of himself, because he is perfectly fine now I am gone.
“But I think he used my niceness against me – he knew I wouldn’t complain.
“And I think having someone wait on him made him feel like more of a celebrity.
“In the morning I would have to lay out all his fan mail in an assembly line. He would make me read them to him.
"Then he would sign a picture of himself and put it in an envelope to be sent back to the fan. I would then have to take all these letters to the post office .
“I was like his assistant but he never paid me. Before I left the house I would have to open the top of every drink bottle as Verne’s wrists are too weak.
“After that I would buy his groceries and carry them home and cook dinner, although most days all Verne would eat would be a blueberry muffin and then he’d be full. And not once did I get a thank-you.”
Verne, who had dwarfism, had a long battle with alcoholism – at one point knocking back a bottle of spirits and a six-pack of beer in a day despite his tiny frame.
But Ranae says that she was able to get him to cut back.
“He would only drink excessively when he was with other people,” she said.
“Once I went to a karaoke bar with him and his manager and in two hours he had knocked back four beers and four tequilas, which for a man his size is very dangerous.
“And Verne is horrible when he drinks – mean and aggressive.
"Sometimes when he was away he would call me up in the middle of the night crying like a baby because he felt guilty he had been drinking.
“I caught him cheating numerous times when we were together. Sometimes I found out by looking at his phone and seeing text messages he had sent to other girls.”
But Ranae said she would have been able to forgive Verne’s bad behaviour if he had been more romantic.
She said: “Verne never wanted to go out as he hates people staring at him because of his size.
“Most of the time he sat at home playing video games or googling himself. He loved reading about himself or watching himself on TV – he’s obsessed with his celebrity.
“When we did go out it was normally to Taco Bell or McDonald’s. There were only about three times he took me to nice restaurants and then it was embarrassing because the waitress would have to stack phone books on his seat so he could get to the level of the table.”
The couple split after their raunchy video was made public and Ranae says there is no prospect of a reconciliation.
She said: “Being with him was horrible. It was like being with a child.”
And she said that the Mini Me actor would show a full-size ego in the BB house.
Ranae says: “Verne once told me he would never go on Celebrity Big Brother as it is for has-beens and he is a real actor.
“He will be thinking everyone around him is a has-been and he is like Brad Pitt.
“It would be great TV if they put me in there… sparks would definitely be flying.”
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