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Pamela Anderson Says Relationship with Tommy Lee May Have Been ‘Only Time I Was Ever Truly in Love’

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In the early days of Pamela Anderson’s love affair with rocker Tommy Lee, the Baywatch star says, “We just wanted to have babies and be together forever.”

The actress and activist, 55, writes about both their tender and tumultuous moments, and her love for their two sons, Brandon, 26, and Dylan, 25, in her new memoir, Love, Pamela, excerpted exclusively in this week’s PEOPLE. It marks just one of the many chapters of her life explored in the book and in a new Netflix documentary, Pamela, a love story, both out January 31.

As she writes, looking back, “My relationship with Tommy may have been the only time I was ever truly in love.”

Their 1995 wedding on the beach in Cancun (she wore a bikini, he wore board shorts) led to countless headlines and paparazzi chases. At times, their life and love was over the top. “We had fun,” she writes, “and our rule was no rules.”

But the theft of their personal tapes from a safe in their garage, which were then made into a “sex tape” sold by others, increased the tabloid and paparazzi’s relentless pursuit.

“It ruined lives, starting with our relationship — and it’s unforgivable that people, still to this day, think they can profit from such a terrible experience, let alone a crime,” writes Anderson, who has never watched the stolen tape.

With their two young sons at home, the pressures and stress ultimately overwhelmed them, she writes. One night in 1998, she says Lee twisted her arm as she was holding seven month old Dylan, and Brandon played nearby. “Tommy ripped Brandon off me and threw me and Dylan into a wall,” she writes. Panicked, she called 911. Tommy was arrested and served six months in jail. And, as she writes, “Our hell began.”

Anderson filed for divorce; in the months and years that followed, she focused on caring for her sons and finding healing.

“The divorce from Tommy was the hardest, lowest, most difficult point of my life,” she writes in her memoir. “I was crushed. I still couldn’t believe that the person I loved the most was capable of what had happened that night. We were both devastated, but I had to protect my babies.”

Over two decades later, she and Lee “check in, every once in a while,” she says. “Tommy is the father of my kids and I’m forever grateful.”

Pamela Anderson makes ‘iconic comeback’ in stunning all-white look

Pamela Anderson is making an “iconic comeback” to social media.

On Monday, the 55-year-old “Baywatch” star and animal rights activist took to Instagram to show off a feathered, all-white halter gown. She paired the look with an oversized matching hat, a glove and a pair of white sandal high heels.

The “Barb Wire” actress debuted the look in an Instagram Reel of herself dragging a tied-up Christmas tree down a flight of stairs in Paris, France, before approaching a man dressed up as Santa Claus and tugging on his fake beard and then blowing a kiss at the camera.

“Christmas is over, Santa,” she says in the clip.

“Happy Holidays xx,” she captioned the video for her more than 1.4 million followers. “Jacquemus et moi.”

Anderson subsequently shared a carousel of photos flaunting more sides of her “stunning” holiday ensemble.
Fans met the actress’ posts with praise for her outfit and for making “the greatest comeback of all time.”
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First Look Inside Pam’s Netflix Documentary

When Hulu premiered Pam & Tommy, the scripted TV series dredging up the most traumatic chapter of Pamela Anderson’s career, Anderson’s name was notably absent from the production. She did not consent to or sign off on the series, meaning that, nearly 30 years after her and her then-husband Tommy Lee’s home movies were stolen and distributed to the tune of over $75 million in sales in its first year alone, according to Rolling Stone—not a dollar of which she says she received—more Hollywood forces were profiting from her stolen personal property and trauma. Anderson did not comment on the series either, but she makes her feelings about the project—and many more subjects, including her stolen tape, marriages, and media misconceptions—known in a forthcoming documentary from Emmy-nominated documentarian Ryan White (The Case Against 8, The Keepers). Titled Pamela: a love story, the unsparing documentary chronicles Anderson’s complicated journey from small-town Canadian to Playboy pinup to ’90s icon to unlikely Broadway star—plus all the romances in between.

White, the acclaimed filmmaker behind this year’s Good Night Oppy, a documentary about the Mars space rover, says he generally has little interest in making celebrity documentaries. 

“I feel like a lot of them are about brand management or selling a product, whatever that may be. And Pamela’s the opposite of that,” says White, revealing that the actor sat down with him for her interviews without makeup and answered his questions for hours on end. “From the very beginning, she was like, ‘You can ask me anything. I will talk about anything. I will be nothing but honest with you about it all.”

Anderson also gave the filmmaker decades’ worth of home movies and journals—chronicling her love life, career, and children’s coming-of-age—without even reviewing them first. “The infamous stolen tape, which we’re always very careful to call ‘the stolen tape’ and not ‘sex tape,’ was just one of hundreds of hours that they filmed,” says White, referring to Anderson and Lee. “There’s no calculation with how [Anderson] thinks about these types of things. It’s all just about being raw and honest, for better or worse. It made for a really emotional film and I’m really grateful that I got to work with someone like that.”

White says that Anderson’s sons, Brandon, 26, and Dylan, 24, convinced Anderson “to tell her story on her own terms. They adore their mother and really hate seeing her story being told by other people in a way that they don’t feel is authentic to who she is. Pamela, by nature, is an incredibly open and honest person. That’s perhaps why Pamela’s gotten burned a lot in her life, but I also think it’s what’s so lovable and infectious about her.”
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