The LAPD has an active investigation into the strange naked “hangout” tape featuring married couple Eric Dane and Rebecca Gayheart. The police confirm that they’re investigating and say that a DVD was given to them featuring the footage along with “articles and photographs of porn stars and formally convicted madams, which could readily be found over the internet.” It was reported that the tape was leaked by Mindy McCready, who happened to be the roommate of Dane and Gayheart’s co-star, Kari Ann Peniche. McCready’s rep denies this, however, and from his mysterious statement it kind of sounds like McCready was cooperating with the investigation and that the tape was leaked after it was handed over to police.
I would guess that the criminal investigation involves prostitution and not the mild drug use shown on the tape, but that’s complete speculation. Dialogue on the tape between Gayheart, Dane and Peniche suggests that Peniche may be involved in madam-type activities. Gayheart says at one point “I was so bummed when you said we had to call one of your girls.”
The LAPD has confirmed that detectives are investigating a DVD provided to them in July from an unnamed source who claimed it “contained images that could link celebrities engaging in illegal activity.”
But before police could determine if a crime was committed, the tape leaked onto the Internet, the LAPD said in a statement.
The DVD, which included the now-infamous video of Dane, 36, wife Rebecca Gayheart, 38, and former Miss U.S. Teen Kari Ann Peniche, 25, also “included archived articles and photographs of porn stars and formally convicted madams, which could readily be found over the internet,” police added.
Peniche has alleged that the tape was stolen from her by troubled country singer Mindy McCready, who was her roommate after the two women filmed episodes of Celebrity Rehab, according to TMZ. Meanwhile, a source close to McCready told PEOPLE, “Her story will be told in due time. There’s a lot more to it than just the tape. She did not leak the tape.”
Police added: “No determination has been made as to whether or not the DVD contained any information that could be used for a criminal investigation.”
On Monday, a lawyer for the actors released a statement, saying it should not be characterized as a sex tape, since it merely showed “a private, consensual moment involving a married couple, shot several years ago, which was never intended to be seen by the public.”
I doubt that Gayheart and Dane will face any consequences from this tape. There’s little way to prove that anything illegal besides pot-smoking occurred, and a lawyer could argue that Gayheart is smoking a hand-rolled cigarette. Maybe they’re going after Peniche, though, and it’s possible she had a sophisticated operation. What could be much more interesting than this non-scandal is Peniche’s potential client list. Did McCready tell the cops about Peniche’s “girls” and offer this tape as evidence?
Eric Dane and Rebecca Gayheart are shown on 7/8/09. Credit: Fame Pictures