Pamela Anderson is finally telling her story.
In a new documentary and memoir (both out Jan. 31), the actress shares her life story in her own words. Last year, when the Hulu series Pam & Tommy dramatized her love affair and marriage to rocker Tommy Lee and the theft of their personal tapes, Anderson didn’t say a word. But now she’s ready to set the record straight.
As she explains in an interview and an exclusive excerpt of her memoir in the next issue of PEOPLE, it was her two sons Brandon, 26, and Dylan, 25, who “encouraged me to tell my story.”
“[There’s] a little bit of anxiety before it comes out, because this has been a year, basically, of therapy, going through my life from my first memory to my last memory,” says the 55-year-old star of writing her memoir, Love, Pamela. “I’m really proud of it. It is something I wrote every word of. I didn’t have a collaborator. I didn’t have any ghostwriter, nothing.”
“It’s just one girl’s story of how I made it through: a small-town girl going to Los Angeles and just going through all the wild and crazy adventures I did and then circling back and going home,” she explains.
The process of reflection, she says, uncovered deep emotions. “I had no idea how much anger I had inside, or how therapeutic it was going to be for not just me, but for people around me, like my mother,” she says. “It’s been a healing process. I’m so happy to share it and hopefully people will be inspired.”
Adds Anderson, “I think a lot of it has to do with keeping secrets and keeping things kind of [repressed]. In my case, there’s been stories written and things happening, but you can’t really know somebody unless you hear the whole story. … I hope it’s empowering.”
Ultimately, she’s happy to say her sons Brandon and Dylan were impressed by their mother’s honesty and that she wrote it — her way.
“My boys were excited for me to write my own book, but they both were like, ‘Mom, you’re going to need help to write this book.’ And I said, ‘No, I can write this book myself.’ They were shocked that I pulled this off,” says Anderson with a smile.
“I just wanted there to be a true, authentic, real record of my life,” she adds. “I really felt like it was very, very important for me to write it all down, from beginning to end.”