Pamela Anderson is set to open up about her tumultuous life in the spotlight during an interview with CBS Sunday Morning’s Jim Axelrod this week, and a new preview clip has given fans a taste of what to expect.
In the teaser, which was shared yesterday, the host asks Pamela what she wants people to “understand” about the nonconsensual distribution of her sex tape with her then-husband, Tommy Lee.
In case you need a reminder, the infamous sex tape was stolen from a locked safe in the former couple’s home in 1995 by Rand Gauthier, an electrician who worked on the property. By spring 1996, the footage started making the rounds online, making it the first-ever viral video.
Reflecting on the exploitation more than 27 years later, Pamela replied that the only thing she wants people to remember about the video — which was filmed on the couple’s honeymoon in 1995 — is that it was unlawfully obtained and was never intended to be seen by the public.
“That it was stolen property, that it was two crazy naked people in love,” she says. “We were naked all the time and filming each other and being silly, but those tapes were not meant for anybody else to see.”
Despite its virality, Pamela also confirmed that she has never watched the stolen tape and doesn’t intend to.
“I've not seen it to this day,” she adds. “It was very hurtful.”
Pamela and Tommy ended their marriage in 1998 after she accused him of physically assaulting her. He served six months in jail after pleading no contest to the charges.
They briefly rekindled their relationship in 2008, but parted ways for good in 2010. They share two sons, Brandon Thomas and Dylan Jagger, born in 1996 and 1997, respectively.
Looking back, Pamela tells CBS that becoming a mom helped her endure the media frenzy surrounding the stolen tape, admitting motherhood “saved” her.
“You know, if I wasn’t a mom, I don’t think I would’ve survived,” she continues.
The interview is to promote the actor’s upcoming memoir, Love, Pamela, and her new Netflix documentary, Pamela, A Love Story, which comes out later this month.
The new projects come 10 months after Pamela vowed to share “the real story” of her turbulent career, following reports that she was left feeling “violated” by the retelling of the tape’s distribution in Hulu’s limited series, Pam & Tommy.
For a bit of context, the real Pam and Tommy were launched back into the spotlight in February 2022 after the premiere of the streaming show, which starred Lily James and Sebastian Stan as the titular characters and retraced the series of events that led to the tape being released.
Given that the show focused on the exploitation of a real-life couple, many were under the impression that Pamela and Tommy had been involved in its production. However, it was later revealed that neither had given it the green light, and that it was made without their involvement or consent.
For his part, Tommy seemed unfazed by the biopic, telling Entertainment Tonight in September 2021 that it’s “a cool story and people need to know.”
Comparatively — perhaps because she was shamed and ridiculed to a much greater extent than her ex-husband at the height of the tape’s circulation — Pamela was apparently much more traumatized by the show’s existence.
“It is shocking that this series is allowed to happen without her approval,” a source told Entertainment Tonight weeks before the show's premiere. “She feels so violated to this day. It brings back a very painful time for her.”
Pamela’s close friend Courtney Love had also previously called the show “so fucking outrageous” and claimed that its creation was causing Pamela to relive “complex trauma.”
The makers of Pam & Tommy maintained that they had attempted to get Pamela on board, but that she “chose not to engage,” adding that they “respected her desire not to be involved.”
“The show loves Pam,” producer Robert Siegel told Variety ahead of the show’s release. “So I hope Pam loves the show. She’s certainly the hero of the show. At every step of the way, we’ve tried to do right by her.”
Nevertheless, the series still received criticism, with viewers accusing the creators of “profiting off” a woman's trauma and exploitation for entertainment.
But now, a year since the topic of her stolen tape was brought back into the mainstream by Hulu, Pamela says in the trailer for her Netflix documentary that she’s ready to “take control of the narrative for the first time.”