Reported Alive, Did Ex-Adult Performer Chip Tanner Stage His Own Death?

Sunday May 23, 2021
Originally published on May 20, 2021

Chip Tanner
Chip Tanner  ( video)

"RIP: Former Gay Porn Star Chip Tanner Dies During Autoerotic Asphyxiation" read the headline of a story published on on December 24, 2020. "While Str8Up has not been able to independently confirm the cause of Tanner's death, the friend (who asked that his name not be used in this article) has stated that Tanner—who also went by "Jamie Stroud"—died on December 11th, and no one else was involved in his death."

Today the site reports "that former gay porn star Chip Tanner is alive." The report (by the site's Zach) went on to say that despite getting official verification of Tanner's death in December, they reported the story after a lengthy and detailed conversation with the "friend" and "benefactor." But over the past two weeks, Zach has been able to confirm that the 32-year old Tanner is alive and was seen in Las Vegas as recently as April 16, 2021.

Zach writes: "The story, at this point, still doesn't make much sense, but here are the confirmed facts as of today. News of Tanner's death was published on December 24th, 2020. Then, on March 5th of this year, I received an email from someone purporting to be Chip Tanner but calling themselves 'Jet Virgin,' and that email had a subject line that read 'jamie is alive.'"

Zach included a screenshot of the email that read in four bulleted points:
hi zach
contrary to wide spread news, i am not dead
however, i am facing danger
these videos provide more detail.

"The videos are comprised of lengthy clips of Tanner giving conspiratorial monologues about his medical issues, technology, COVID, ecological drift, pathogens, and a claim that he was being chased by the FBI and '50 police cars, a few private helicopters, and a few private planes' in Nevada, but he was able to evade capture before recording the videos," Zach writes.

Chip Tanner  

Zach could not locate any public records of the chase, and it became unclear to him what the hoax was: "Tanner's death, the FBI chase, or all of it?" He replied to the email addressee of "Joe Virgin" asking for an explanation but never received a response. He also emailed the benefactor who first announced his death in December, but they didn't respond, which made him reluctant to publish anything more about Tanner without official verification of whether he was living or dead.

Then earlier this month, while doing a routine check of news about Chip Tanner/Jamie Shroud, he discovered a police and incarceration record, confirming that he was, in fact alive, and in a lot of trouble.

"On January 15th of this year (three weeks after the "death" announcement), Tanner/Stroud was arrested in Las Vegas on a felony home invasion charge, as well as charges of unlawful reentry and giving a false statement to a police officer. Tanner/Stroud was apparently released on bail sometime in February (likely when he made the videos?), and when he failed to appear at a hearing in March, a warrant was issued for his arrest."

The details of the case have not been made public. But, Zach reports: "Sometime between mid-March to mid-April, Tanner/Stroud was apprehended or turned himself back in, because he was back in court on April 16th to plead guilty to a reduced misdemeanor charge (the home invasion charge appears to have been dropped), and he was sentenced to 10 days in jail.

The fact that Chip Tanner was alive on April 16th—and that he is clearly suffering from emotional and mental health issues, based on the content of those videos—is all we know for certain right now," Zach concludes.

In the report, Zach has included one of Tanner's videos, graphics of the police and court reports, and the email exchanges from Tanner's benefactor he included in December. They can be read here.

In an earlier report, wrote: "Chip Tanner performed in dozens of gay porn scenes, most notably at the now-defunct Randy Blue, where he launched his career in 2010. Prior to Randy Blue (and after), Tanner was known for appearing in wildly outlandish (and often disturbing) fetish and comedy videos. Over the last few years, he worked in Las Vegas as a dancer and model, performing regularly at events and clubs. He was last seen in a 2019 YouTube video with comedy juggling star Jason Garfield."