‘Pam & Tommy’ follows the incredible story of the titular couple, whose lives are thrown into chaos when a private recording is stolen from their home. The leaked tape sets a complex chain of events in motion, starting with the simple carpenter, Rand, who actually carries out the robbery.
Rand and his associate from the porn industry, Uncle Miltie, realize they’re sitting on a veritable gold mine and decide to start a business selling the leaked celebrity tape. Enter local mobster Louis “Butchie” Peraino, who agrees to bankroll their project on some astonishingly lucrative terms (lucrative to the mobster, that is). Considering much of ‘Pam & Tommy’ is inspired by real-life, we decided to take a look at who the actual person behind Louis “Butchie” Peraino might be.
Is Louis “Butchie” Peraino Based on a Real Person?
Yes, Louis “Butchie” Peraino, essayed by Andrew Dice Clay, is based on the real person of the same name. The actual Louis Peraino, who was also popularly known by the moniker Butchie, was actually indirectly involved in the initial spread of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee’s stolen tape. According to the Rolling Stone article by Amanda Chicago Lewis, from which the show draws much of its narrative, Louis was approached by Milton Ingley to help sell the tape after a number of other companies rejected the latter.
Louis, who was associated with the Colombo organized crime family of New York, seemingly loaned Milton around $50,000 to cover the cost of “manufacturing” (likely referring to making copies of video) and distribution of the tape. However, when the time came to pay back the loan, things didn’t go very well. According to Rand Gauthier, the initial loan was eventually paid back, but the interest was still owed.
Sensing danger, Milton left the country and went to Amsterdam, seemingly with the idea to wait in Europe until Louis died of cancer that ailed him. However, Rand, who stayed back, was allegedly put to work by Louis making collections for the mob in order to repay the remaining amount. Though Louis’ association with the leaked tape and the events that followed are dramatized in the series, he also has a colorful story from previous years.
In addition to the infamous tape in question, Louis and the Peraino family were known for their hand in the production of ‘Deep Throat,’ which is apparently one of the most profitable pornographic films of all time. The project was produced by Louis using a $22,500 loan from his father, Anthony Peraino, who was a well-known part of the Colombo crime family. Louis was also CEO of Bryanston Pictures, an outfit run by the mob and which partly funded ‘Deep Throat. Interestingly, Bryanston Pictures was later also involved in the cult film ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre.’
Around 1980, Louis and his brother Joseph were also convicted of obscenity charges in Miami as part of an FBI operation against hardcore pornography and its links to organized crime. The former seemingly got a sentence of six years in prison. Louis was also head of a few other adult film companies and founded Arrow Film & Video and also owned Plymouth Distributing.
Is Louis ‘Butchie’ Peraino Dead or Alive?
As it turns out, Louis is no longer alive. Born in 1960 to Anthony Joseph Peraino, he passed away on April 26, 1999, in New York City. According to reports, the cause of Louis “Butchie” Peraino’s death was lung cancer.