The Truth About Tommy Lee And Pamela Anderson's Relationship

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

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 and Tommy Lee's wedding rituals bucked tradition

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.'"

Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee 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."

Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee welcomed two sons amid marital trouble

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.

Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee divorced due to his alcoholism

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).