David Rainey

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David "Puck" Rainey
Born Oakland, California, U.S.
Occupation Reality television personality

David "Puck" Rainey is an American reality television personality who first gained fame as a cast member on The Real World: San Francisco in 1994. A bicycle messenger during the show's shooting, he became notorious as the second Real World cast member ever to be evicted from the house, due to his increasingly antagonistic relationship with his housemates, most notably with Pedro Zamora, an HIV-positive AIDS educator. Rainey's conflict with Zamora is credited with helping make The Real World a hit show, for which Time ranked it #7 on their list of 32 Epic Moments in Reality-TV History.[1] TV Guide included him in their 2013 list of The 60 Nastiest Villains of All Time.[2]

Early life[edit]

Rainey was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area.[3] He has characterized his mother as a "hippie".[4] He and his sister are of partial Swedish descent through their grandfather.[5][6]

The Real World[edit]

Rainey was a cast member on the MTV reality TV series The Real World: San Francisco in 1994. He and his castmates moved into the house at 953 Lombard Street on Russian Hill on February 12 of that year.[7] Among the cast, Rainey was an eccentric center of attention. In the season premiere he arrived at the house last because he was detained by police for a traffic incident. He incurred many minor injuries while bike riding, and kept photos of them, which he showed to his housemates.[8] Although the producers informed the housemates that they would be living with someone who was HIV-positive, they did not reveal who it was, and as a result of these injuries, which included scabs on his face, some of the other castmates incorrectly assumed the HIV-positive cast member was Rainey.[4][9] Rainey frequently clashed with his roommates over hygiene,[8][10] being repeatedly criticized for poor hygiene.[11] His housemates also complained of his lack of consideration for others, and his need to monopolize conversation.[12][13] Rainey's Jewish housemate Judd Winick took offense to Rainey's wearing of a T-shirt that depicted four guns arranged in the shape of a swastika, and his refusal to take the shirt off, a confrontation only revealed in the MTV book The Real World Diaries and depicted in the 2009 film Pedro, not the series itself.[14]

One of Rainey's closest relationships in the house was with Rachel Campos; they kissed on three occasions but Campos broke up with him after he told the other housemates.[5]

Rainey's most contentious relationship was with Zamora, whose career as an AIDS educator Rainey denigrated and whose Cuban accent he mocked. Zamora, who had AIDS, distanced himself from Rainey and thereby from the other housemates, fearing the stress of his relationship with Rainey was affecting his health.[5][15] When Zamora threatened to move out, the other housemates voted to evict Rainey instead.[16]

Other appearances[edit]

Rainey made a cameo appearance in 1998 on Road Rules: All Stars, Celebrity Death match, and competed in 2003 on Battle of the Sexes, during which he came into conflict with David Edwards of The Real World: Los Angeles, and married (on-camera) Betty Garcia, his fiancee and mother of his son, Bogart. He also made an appearance in Eminem's video for "Without Me".

Rainey had been cast to appear on the 2008 season of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, but left before filming began.[17]

Personal life[edit]

Rainey met his future wife, Betty, at a farmer's market in 1998. They had a son and later married on Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Battle of the Sexes, then had a second son. In 2008 they were living in the Los Angeles area, where Rainey worked as a truck driver,[17][18] and by 2009 were living in Alabama,[17][19] where Rainey made a living through public appearances and miscellaneous jobs.[19]

On November 8, 2012, Rainey pleaded no contest to stalking an unidentified woman on February 22 of that year, and on November 8 was sentenced to two years in Wasco State Prison. Having received credit for 401 days already served, he was expected to be released in a little under a year.[20][21] As of 2013, Rainey was on felony probation and forbidden from leaving Los Angeles County, California.[4] By 2013 Rainey and his wife had a third child and lived "off the grid" in Neenach, California.[4]

In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ Webley, Kayla. "32 Epic Moments in Reality-TV History: 7. The Real World: Puck vs. Pedro". Time. Retrieved April 9, 2011.
  2. ^ Bretts, Bruce; Roush, Matt; (March 25, 2013). "Baddies to the Bone: The 60 nastiest villains of all time". TV Guide. pp. 14-15.
  3. ^ The Real World: San Francisco: Cast: Puck. MTV. 1994. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d Montgomery, James; White Wolf, Vanessa (March 22, 2013). "'Real World' Star David 'Puck' Rainey Looks Back On San Francisco -- Unapologetically". MTV News.
  5. ^ a b c The Real World Diaries. pp. 146-147.
  6. ^ "Collision Course". The Real World: San Francisco. Season 3. Episode 9. August 25, 1994. MTV. 
  7. ^ Winick, Judd. Pedro and Me: Friendship, Loss, and What I Learned. 2000. Henry Holt & Co. pp. 61-67.
  8. ^ a b The Real World Diaries. 1996. Pocket Books. Page 131
  9. ^ Winick; 2000. pp. 21 - 24; 64.
  10. ^ Fretts, Bruce. (July 21, 1995). "The British Invasion The Real World returns for fourth season — The MTV hit invades London". Entertainment Weekly. Page 1 of 4
  11. ^ Joanna Sloame and Soraya Roberts. "Most vile stars on reality TV: The ugliest, meanest and most violent of them all". Daily News. April 1, 2011. Page 30 of 46
  12. ^ The Real World Diaries. pp. 130, 133 and 136.
  13. ^ "You Gotta Have Art". The Real World: San Francisco. Season 3. Episode 5. July 28, 1994. MTV. 
  14. ^ The Real World Diaries. Page 137.
  15. ^ Winick; 2000. p. 114.
  16. ^ "Getting Dropped". The Real World: San Francisco. Season 3. Episode 11. September 8, 1994. MTV. 
  17. ^ a b c "'The Real World' Stars: Where Are They Now?". The Huffington Post/AOL TV. March 4, 2008.
  18. ^ Ryan Pienciaki, Elaine Aradillas and Paul Chi. "The Real World: Where Are They Now?". People. Vol. 70. No. 7. August 18, 2008
  19. ^ a b All Access Presents: Where Are They Now?: Reality Stars. VH1. Viewed January 7, 2009
  20. ^ "'Real World' star 'Puck' Rainey locked up". UPI. November 25, 2012.
  21. ^ Roberts, Christine (November 24, 2012). "Early ‘Real World’ star Puck is behind bars in California after reported stalking incident". Daily News.
  22. ^ "Pedro, a real world story about Pedro Zamora". pedrothtemovie.com. Retrieved March 15, 2012.
  23. ^ "Cast and crew". pedrothemovie.com. Retrieved March 15, 2012.

External links[edit]