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ByFrank F.ANDErich B. Anderson/Updated: Jan. 26, 2023 11:44 am EST
Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee were one of the most notorious couples of the second half of the 1990s. She was a Playboy centerfold and the iconic star of "Baywatch." He was a drummer and founding member of the heavy metal band Mötley Crüe. Together, they embarked on a rock 'n' roll romance that sparked incendiary headlines for years.
Though their marriage was cut short, both have found multiple loves in the decades since. As of 2021, Anderson has had nine weddings in total (per E!), including a few to musician Kid Rock in the early 2000s and one to her bodyguard, Dan Hayhurst, in 2020. Lee married viral video star Brittany Furlan in 2019, per Us Weekly. Neither Lee nor Anderson has had any more children beyond the two sons they share.
Decades have passed since Anderson and Lee were together, but their relationship remains a subject of fascination in Hollywood history. Here's a trip back through the leather-clad love of Pam and Tommy.
Tommy Lee licked Pamela Anderson's face the first time they met
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On New Year's Eve in 1994, Pamela Anderson headed out to party at Sanctuary, the club she had invested in on Los Angeles' Sunset Strip. At the party, Tommy Lee was reportedly influenced by a combination of Ecstasy and booze, which he later recalled for the 2001 Mötley Crüe memoir, "The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band" (via the New York Post).
According to the New York Post, Anderson sent a shot of Goldschläger — cinnamon schnapps containing flakes of gold leaf — over to Lee. He downed it before hand-delivering his own gift to Anderson: his alcohol-infused saliva. "He came up, grabbed me and licked my face," Anderson told Movieline in 1995 (via the New York Post). "I thought he was a cool, friendly, nice guy. I gave him my number."
Lee used the number, ringing in 1995 with an ongoing flurry of calls to Anderson. When she finally answered, she told him she was headed to Cancún, Mexico, for a photo shoot. "[He said] 'You're going without me?'" Anderson recalled during a 2001 interview for Rolling Stone (via the New York Post). "I begged him not to come down there. He said, 'OK. See you later.' I thought it was a weird way for the conversation to end."
Pamela Anderson's friend tried to shut down the relationship before it started
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Despite Tommy Lee's antics and cocky demeanor on the first night they met, or more likely because of his behavior, Pamela Anderson may have been instantly attracted to the rockstar, but her friend, Melanie, was far from impressed. Lee told Rolling Stone that when the actress' friends wanted to call it a night, he walked her out of the club to Melanie's car and gave her a kiss goodnight, along with finally succeeding with getting her number after several attempts.
Lee went on to explain how he knew Anderson's friend was not happy with the situation: "I later found out that when Pamela closed the car door, the first thing Melanie did was look at her and say, 'Don't even think about it.'" Anderson admitted she was coy in her response and pretended not to know what her friend was talking about, but Melanie was adamant and said, "Listen to me: That guy is a f****** maniac."
Tommy Lee was ready with an assortment of sex toys
The first night that Tommy Lee was supposed to meet up for a date with Pamela Anderson, the rockstar did not try to impress her with expensive clothes and a clean-cut look. In fact, he did the exact opposite. AsRolling Stonedetails, to maintain his "bad boy" image, all he did was brush his teeth, while purposefully neglecting to shave and even shower beforehand. The approach had worked with his previous wife, Heather Locklear, so he was sure it would be successful again.
But that was not all Lee did to prepare for his time with Anderson, as he also admitted, "I drove to the Pleasure Chest and picked up $400 worth of sex toys and outfits. ... I was ready to rock her world." Unfortunately, the actress was so busy that she had forgotten about the date, but Lee was ridiculously persistent and met up with her in Cancún where they tied the knot only a few days later.
Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee's wedding rituals bucked tradition
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If Tommy Lee's crush on Pamela Anderson wasn't crystal-clear from the face-licking and phone-calling prompted by their meeting, he made his feelings transparent by flying to Mexico to find her. According to the New York Post, Lee flew to Cancún, raced to the Ritz-Carlton hotel (where Anderson was staying), and whisked her out for drinks at a famous restaurant called Señor Frog's. On February 19, 1995 — within four days of Lee's arrival in Mexico — Anderson and Lee got married on the beach in a bikini and shorts, respectively, per Entertainment Weekly.
The couple's courtship was anything but traditional, so they didn't exchange wedding bands with their vows. Instead, they got more permanent marks of their mutual devotion: each other's names tattooed on their ring fingers. "I don't like jewelry," Anderson said (via the New York Post). "The size of the stone is really about the man's ego over his little thing. I think diamonds have a direct relationship to your man's penis size."
As for Lee's "little thing" — he got a tattoo there, too. "I don't know how that got out," Anderson said. "There is a very select group of people who see his penis. But, yes, [it] says, 'Pamela.'"
They were 'horrified' when their X-rated video leaked
In 1995, the French and Dutch versions of Penthouse magazine published explicit, stolen Polaroids of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee. "Those were good shots," Anderson said that year (via the New York Post). "When I saw the first Polaroid, I was, like, 'Whoa, baby. We should frame this.'"
Anderson and Lee had a different reaction when an explicit video was stolen from their safe, leaked, and sold online. The couple had filmed the X-rated video while on vacation in Lake Mead near Las Vegas earlier that year. "I'm just horrified," Anderson said at the time (via Entertainment Weekly). "I don't know why I bother to put on clothes when I go out anymore."
According to Express, the couple sued Internet Entertainment Group, the company behind distributing the tape. "In order to protect what privacy they have left, the Lees have entered into a confidential settlement agreement with IEG," a representative for the couple told CNET once the case was settled in 1997 (via Express). "The Lees have never intended to profit nor have they profited from the stolen tape and are sick about the whole situation."
They welcomed two sons amid marital trouble
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On June 5, 1996, Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee welcomed their first child, a son named Brandon. The baby was born in the midst of the legal issues Anderson and Lee were dealing with surrounding their leaked sex tape. According to Hollywood Life, the couple's relationship had become turbulent, but their fresh parenthood carried them through another year. Their second son, Dylan, was born on December 29, 1997.
Before long, troubles in the couple's relationship began bubbling back up to the surface. Anderson took full responsibility for caring for the children, and Lee got jealous. "When Dylan was born, I dropped down to No. 3," he said later (via the New York Post). "Now I was full-on nonexistent. And I couldn't deal with that."
In 1998, Lee was arrested following an alleged physical altercation with Anderson and was ultimately charged with six months in jail. "I'm very proud of Tommy," Anderson said (via the New York Post). "I'm happy he took responsibility for this. And I think it's the first step towards healing."
If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.
They divorced due to his alcoholism
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Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee's marriage was over when he was sent to jail in May 1998. According to Hollywood Life, the couple's relationship was shaken by fights that even upset their toddler-age children, which prompted Anderson to file for divorce.
"She said something about having bad taste in men," said Marilyn Minter, an artist who worked with Anderson in 2006 (via the New York Post). "I thought she was pretty smart. She was single at the time and telling me how Tommy was such a terrible alcoholic [during their marriage]," Minter said. "That was why she had to end it. She said he was out of control, peeing in bed. I was sympathetic."
According to Entertainment Weekly, Anderson and Lee discussed remarriage after he was released from jail. "I picture Tommy and me ... old, toothless, on a bench somewhere with our tattoos," she said at the time. Lee's alcoholism ultimately brought that image to a screeching halt.
In October 2020, Lee revealed in an interview with the New York Post that he had been sober for a year. Both he and Anderson have remarried other people since their late-'90s split, but it's their wild union that will go down in rock 'n' roll history.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
The couple got back together after their divorce
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Given Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee's on-again off-again relationship, it was not a big surprise when the actress revealed that the two were hooking up after they had divorced in 1998, as per ET. In an interview with BlackBook, she stressed that they were not back together, but also said, "I sleep with him a lot, but we aren't together. How does it go? If you can't be with the one you love, then f*** the one you're with."
But it was only the next year when the couple announced that they were getting married for the second time in 2008. Lee was very excited to give the relationship another shot and was happy to have the whole family back together under one roof. He told Rolling Stone, "We've only given it a try 800 times — 801, here we go." Sadly, the optimism did not last long though as the couple divorced again in 2010.
Pamela Anderson said she'd 'never talk' to Tommy Lee again until he got sober
Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee have obviously cared deeply for each other, yet one major issue that consistently formed a wedge between the two was his out of control drinking. The situation gradually worsened until things came to a head when Tommy got into a serious altercation with his son, Brandon Lee, in 2018. As reported by People, the police arrived where the incident occurred at Tommy's home, but no arrests were made, while the aging rockstar posted on Twitter that Brandon had knocked him out and then fled the scene.
Anderson was out of the country in France at the time but felt the need to clarify what was going on from her perspective, placing the blame for the traumatic experience on her ex-husband's struggle with alcoholism. In a statement posted on The Pamela Anderson Foundation, she said, "I will never talk to Tommy again before he is sober and in his right mind. Though he's made attempts to contact me. I have blocked him. It is impossible to reason with crazy." She also stressed how proud she was of her sons, who were both trying to help their father during the difficult period of his life, and she believed that Brandon was not responsible for the fight erupting.
Pamela Anderson said she never fell 'out of love with Tommy'
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Five years after Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson finalized their second divorce in 2010, Anderson still spoke fondly about their relationship. She told People, "There was Tommy and then there was nobody else. He was the love of my life. We had a wild and crazy beginnings that was too much for both of us."
Clearly, a part of the actress will always be in love with the troubled musician because, as she made similar comments on The Howard Stern Show when she stated, "I've never been out of love with Tommy." Stern then followed that up by saying the two seemed perfect for each other, and if she agreed that meant they should have tried to stay together, to which Anderson replied, "[We] probably should have. We probably should have stuck it out, I don't know." However, she then went on to explain that too many bad things had happened for them to ever consider getting back in a relationship again.
Pam & Tommy tried to get the relationship right without input from the couple
When showrunners Rob Siegel and D.V. DeVincentis began to develop the miniseries, "Pam & Tommy," their main goal was to keep the story as accurate as possible, which was difficult since neither celebrity that the story was based on wanted to be involved with the projec, as per Entertainment Weekly. So instead, the limited show was based on the account told in an article published in Rolling Stone back in 2014. Siegel explained to Entertainment Weekly, "We didn't make up a whole lot. Most of what you see in those eight episodes is in that article. The basic plot beats are all straight from the article."
Once the show premiered, Pamela Anderson was not happy with the results. Not only did close friends of the actress, like Courtney Love, publicly state how upset Anderson was (via Vanity Fair), but she herself made a post on Instagram that a documentary with Netflix is in the works to tell the true story from her perspective.
Likewise, Lee's former Motley Crue bandmate, John Corabi, was also not pleased with the portrayals and posted on Facebook that the show was wrong about most of it. The musician was especially angered by the way Anderson would have to relive the trauma of the experience all over again, and that her sons would have to live in the world where the fake Hollywood account existed. Furthermore, since Corabi was there through a lot of the ordeal, he thought that the way Tommy Lee was depicted was quite ridiculous, as they failed to get his personality right.
The couple reunited for Brandon Lee's fashion launch
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Following the difficult period when tensions were still high because of the fight between Tommy Lee and Brandon Lee, the whole family was finally able to come together and make amends. In November 2021, Brandon debuted his own clothing brand, Swingers Club, in collaboration with Local Authority, and held a launch party at The Webster Los Angeles, according to People. The style of the clothing line is inspired by preppy golf attire, so the festivities were decorated with that theme, including indoor golf.
Pamela Anderson attended the event as well, along with Brandon's brother, Dylan Lee, and the siblings' two girlfriends. Tommy also brought his current wife, Brittany Furlan, which was one of the biggest signs that everyone involved had moved on from the past hostility and were ready to heal their damaged relationships. One intriguing absence from the party was Anderson's new husband, Dan Hayhurst, but that mystery was answered a couple months later when it was announced that the couple had divorced after only one year of marriage, as per ET.