“It really was love at first sight,” Pamela Anderson,
Playboy model and Baywatch star, said of her romance with Tommy Lee, the Mötley Crüe drummer, in 2015. And although that may be true — the couple got married in 1995 after spending only 96 spontaneous hours together in Cancun, after all — their volatile romance reads more like a cautionary tale than a fairytale. A quick glance at their romantic history makes one thing clear: Anderson and Lee’s relationship timeline was tumultuous.
It’s this explosive timeline that makes their relationship perfect for the upcoming Hulu miniseries,
Pam & Tommy. Although Anderson and Lee’s sex tape — and its impact on their romance — is going to be the main focus of the show, their relationship history has much more material for them to explore. (Good news if you’re hoping for a Season 2!)
Still, their story is more jarring than entertaining. Since they first met on New Year’s Eve in 1994, the once-couple has wavered between being completely in love and openly hating one another. Although they seem to be in a good place right now (in Nov. 2021, they were photographed together, supporting the opening of their son’s swingers’ club), who’s to say what’s next for them? If they stick to the same, unpredictable pattern, there’s no way to know.
This is how their hot and cold relationship has gone so far.
New Year’s Eve 1994: Pamela & Tommy Meet
Steve.Granitz/INACTIVE/WireImage/Getty Images Anderson and Lee first crossed paths at Sanctuary, a supper club on the Sunset Strip. According to Lee’s account in Mötley Crüe’s memoir Dirt, he was under the influence that night, having taken ecstasy and drunk Cristal and Goldschläger, per The New York Post.
According to the outlet, Anderson’s recollection of their first meeting went something like this: “He came up, grabbed me and licked my face. I thought he was a cool, friendly, nice guy. I gave him my number,” she said during a 1995 interview with
February 1995: They Get Married On Their First Date
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Six weeks after meeting and talking on the phone, the duo finally connected. Of course, they had to get over a few road bumps before their first date. Apparently, after Anderson had arranged to meet Lee at a hotel, she completely forgot about it.
Lee recalled the sitch, per Rolling Stone, “I left messages at her pad, at her friends’ houses, everywhere. I was hunting her down like a little f*cking stalker..” — Um, yikes — “Finally, just before 10 p.m., Pamela picked up the phone. She wasn’t even at the hotel; she was at home.”
During their call, Anderson realized her scheduling mishap and explained that she couldn’t see him anymore; she was headed to Cancun for work. Although Anderson told him, “Don’t even think about coming,” he followed her there. They got drinks at Señor Frog’s, a classic spring break locale. Four days later, they got married and opted to get each other’s names tattooed around their ring fingers.
February 1995: The Infamous Sex Tape Was Stolen
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc/Getty Images
Married and back from Mexico, Anderson and Lee’s romance was instantly tested by the public’s (and Anderson’s family’s) reaction. In his words, “It was like we had gone from the total-freedom paradise of Cancún to this hellish prison of Hollywood Babylon.”
That same month, Rand Gauthier, an electrician working on Lee’s home was fired. Per
Glamour, after being told to “get the f*ck off [Lee’s] property,” Gauthier decided to get revenge. He stole the couple’s honeymoon sex tape, made copies of the video, and sold them.
Us Weekly, Lee brought up the tape’s impact on their marriage during a 20/20 interview in 2014. “Not being able to do anything … about [the sex tape] was adding so much frustration and stress to our relationship. It was just consuming us.” (The new Pam & Tommy Hulu show focuses on this scandal.)
June 1996: They Became Parents
Anderson and Lee had two children together, sons Brandon Thomas Lee (born in June 1996) and Dylan Jagger Lee (born in Dec. 1997). The adjustment to parenthood wasn’t an easy one. Apparently, following the birth of Dylan, Lee felt like he was
no longer a priority in his marriage to Anderson: “I was full-on non-existent. And I couldn’t deal with that.”
February 1998: Tommy Attacked Pamela
John T. Barr/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Anderson called the police after a violent altercation, in which Lee allegedly kicked her backside while she was holding their son Dylan. Anderson was left bruised after the incident, and she filed for divorce a few days later.
In May 1998, Lee
pleaded no contest to felony spousal battery and was sentenced to six months in jail. At the time, the judge in the case said of the case, “What I see here is a very clear — very disturbing, in my judgment — pattern of conduct in which otherwise resolvable matters are handled by violence... That’s intolerable in any kind of civilized society.”
Anderson seemed happy about the result. “I’m very proud of Tommy. I’m happy he took responsibility for this. And I think it’s the first step towards healing,” she said at the time. Yet in
Dirt, published in 2001, Lee seemed to have a different perspective on what went down.
“I couldn’t understand why Pamela had followed through with pressing charges. She was probably scared and thought I was some crazy, violent monster; she probably thought she was doing the right thing for the kids; and she probably wanted an easy way out of a difficult situation,” he wrote. (Um, that sounds like he knows
exactly why she pressed charges?!) “As much as I loved Pamela, she had a problem dealing with things,” Lee added.
Just to make things crystal clear: there is
nothing “easy” about being kicked by your spouse, and her decision to press charges has no bearing on her ability to “deal with things” — particularly “things” like domestic violence.
August 2005: Tommy Said They Were Back Together
Although the couple divorced in 1998, they got
back together in 2005 — at least, according to Lee. He told People, “We’re crazy in love. We’re going to take things slowly and see where they go.” (Anderson, for her part, said they were not together at the time.)
Still, Lee maintained that they were one happy family again. “The boys miss Pam and me together. When we’re together, they’re so happy,” he claimed. “At the end of the day, that’s truly what my heart wants. I want us all to be together.”
June 2008: Pamela And Tommy Were *Actually* Back Together
John Sciulli/WireImage/Getty Images
Anderson and Lee
gave their romance one more shot in 2008. At the time, Lee told Rolling Stone, “We’ve only given it a try 800 times — 801, here we go.” He added, “Pamela and the kids have moved in with me. It’s awesome. It’s definitely working. You can see it on the kids’ faces — they’re happy when we’re together.”
It didn’t work for long though. The duo went their separate ways once more in 2010.
August 2015: Pamela Calls Tommy The “Love Of [Her] Life”
Todd Williamson/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
“There was Tommy and then there was nobody else,” Anderson said of their romance
People in 2015. “ He was the love of my life. We had a wild and crazy beginnings that was too much for both of us.”
She added, “We’re good friends...There’s a connection there that will always be.”
March 2018: Pamela Reflected On Their Relationship
In March 2018, Brandon (Anderson and Lee’s son) allegedly
knocked his father out. And that Father’s Day, the drummer reflected on his relationship to his children: “I love them dearly, don’t get me wrong, but man, sometimes it’s really tough to watch your kids grow up without those morals.” (He also blamed Anderson for “enabling” their bad behavior.)
In a blog post titled, “Alcoholism Is The Devil,” Anderson seemingly responded to Lee’s comments. She called her ex “
the definition of narcissist/sociopath,” and wrote, “I pray Tommy gets the help he needs. His actions are desperate and humiliating. He is a disaster spinning out of control, and he is not acting like a father. But this is nothing new.”
In Nov. 2021, however, both
Anderson and Lee attended the opening of Brandon’s Local Authority: Swingers Club.
Anderson and Lee are both married to other people now, so it seems like their love story might actually be over... for now, at least.
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