> Zed Book Club / 7 Takeaways From ‘Love, Pamela’, the Hot New Memoir from the Baywatch Star and Playboy Playmate
Photos: Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock (Eric Estrade/AFP via Getty Images); Anderson as CJ Parker on Baywatch (James Aylott/Getty Images); Anderson and Tommy Lee (S. Granitz/WireImage/Getty Images)
7 Takeaways From ‘Love, Pamela’, the Hot New Memoir from the Baywatch Star and Playboy Playmate
The self-described love addict sets the record straight on her life and affairs, including tumultuous relationships with four of her five husbands / BY Rosemary Counter / February 1st, 2023
Bouncy Baywatch superstar Pamela Anderson is admittedly an “exceptionally easy target” for public ridicule; the bleached blond and amply (artificially) endowed former Playboy Playmate has spent three decades making tabloid headlines for all the wrong reasons. Whether authorized or not so much, the 55-year-old beauty has been everywhere lately, from Hulu’s 2022 miniseries Pam & Tommy, which dramatized the theft and release of her infamous 1995 sex tape, to Netflix’s Jan. 31 documentary Pamela, A Love Story.
Anderson, infuriated by the Hulu series, refused to watch it, but her sons, Brandon Thomas Lee, 26, and Dylan Jagger Lee, 25, encouraged her to retaliate. In a conversation with journalist Ronan Farrow in Interview magazine, Anderson quoted her sons saying, “Mom, no one knows you, and they think they do.”
The animal lover and long-time vegan, who has appeared in several PETA anti-cruelty campaigns, also defends human rights and freedom of the press, specifically as it relates to her friend, Wikileaks editor Julian Assange, whom she visited at the Ecuadorian embassy in London after the South American country granted him political asylum. “His job was to publish what came to him without any bias. His intention was to expose all that information so everyone could make a choice instead of just watching CNN or Fox News,” she tells Farrow.
All the attention she attracted for “superficial things” prompted her activism, allowing her to turn the spotlight on causes she believed in. “I was learning about animal experimentation, so I helped create animal welfare laws where there were none. I was speaking to world leaders all of a sudden,” she tells Farrow. “I was talking to people that most people couldn’t get access to. Also, I had [Playboy founder] Hugh Hefner. He was a great proponent of free speech and freedom of the press and human rights. It just all morphed together.”
Her body of work and her actual body are often considered public property, although maybe not for much longer: Love, Pamela is the B.C.-born actress’ much-anticipated memoir – a companion to the documentary produced by son Dylan – that attempts to take control of the narrative and set her sensational story straight.
And, oh, it is ever sensational, right from the day Anderson made headlines on July 1, 1967 as Canada’s “Centennial Baby,” through to a humble and often abusive upbringing in the tiny town of Ladysmith on Vancouver Island, her unlikely discovery on a jumbotron at a football game, and beyond.
You could argue it’s all because of a fateful call from Hefner, who put her on the magazine’s cover in 1989, and was the first of many men and many marriages that have come to define Anderson. “I think of my life not in years but in who I was in love with at the time,” she writes, and “men are my downfall.” Wiser words were never spoken from a surprisingly good writer and storyteller (and poet!), so we’re following Anderson’s lead with highlights from her book on the badly behaved and poorly matched men she’s picked (or been picked by) over the years.
Playboy Hugh Hefner: Anderson’s ever grateful to Hefner, who she calls a “true gentleman” and “the epitome of chivalry” (they never dated, thank God!), though her book quickly squashes the fairy godfather fantasy with the reality of a man throwing sex parties with careful ratios (“two or three girls per man”) and a strict no-clothes-in-the-pool policy (because “lint gets in the filters”). Similar not-so-classy attendees include Scott Baio, who slides Anderson’s heels off to check out her toes, and Jack Nicholson, whom Anderson walks in on as he’s having a threesome and watching himself in a mirror.
Tool-Man Tim Allen: Just one of many the book’s revelations is about Tim Allen, a.k.a. Tim “the Tool Man” Taylor on the sitcom Home Improvement, where Anderson played Lisa, the first “Tool Time” Girl, on the show-inside-a-show. On day one of filming in 1991, he “opened his robe and flashed me quickly — completely naked underneath. He said it was only fair, because he had seen me naked” (in her Playboy spread). Allen has vehemently denied his tool was ever on display.
Mötley Crüe Rockstar Tommy Lee: In case you live under a rock, Lee is Anderson’s on-again, off-again first husband, “covered in a thoughtful story of tattoos.” In 1995, they married in Cancun after he’d followed her there just four days after meeting in a Hollywood club’s VIP room and returned to a sea of paparazzi. And no wonder: Their dramatic three-year union featured his numerous arrests, her suicide attempt, the aforementioned sex tape, two children and his eventual arrest for domestic battery — which led to jail time and divorce, but not the end of the relationship. “We’d have secret meetings, breaking the restraining order,” she writes, where “he’d tap on my window and we’d make love in the car.”
Country Cowboy Kid Rock: Though Lee threatened to kill him, Kid Rock — whom Anderson calls “Bob”— became Anderson’s husband No. 2. Equally jealous and controlling, he wanted her to relocate to his hometown Detroit when she was intent on staying in Malibu. The marriage lasted just four months until Anderson’s surprise appearance in Borat infuriated Rock, who “stormed out, calling me a whore and worse.”
Serial Celebrity Dater Rick Solomon: Husband No. 3 is poker player Solomon, also a sex tape veteran (with ex Paris Hilton in 2004’s “1 Night in Paris”). In the book, Anderson says her driver owed him “a couple hundred thousand dollars,” and “Rick said that he would forgive the debt … if I married him,” she writes. “Then he upped the ante, he threw in that I’d have to have sex with him, right then.” She does, and they do, but the two-month-old marriage is annulled in 2008 after she finds a crack pipe hidden in a Christmas tree. That should be the end, but it’s not: They rekindled their relationship years later, secretly remarrying in January 2014 and re-divorcing in July.
Sugar Daddy Jon Peters: This strange coupling with the Hollywood producer goes way back to Anderson’s arrival in L.A., when, within days, he puts her up in his Bel Air home and showers her with cars and jewelry. Anderson kept Peters firmly in the friend zone for 35 years until 2020, when, on a whim, he became her fourth husband — for 12 days. Rumour has it Peters paid off Anderson’s mounting debts before she had the union annulled, at which point he told the New York Post’s Page Six “there’s no fool like an old fool.” In a recent interview with Variety magazine, Peters reveals he’s leaving $10 million to Anderson in his will, “whether she needs it or not.”
The Bodyguard Dan Hayhurst: Curious about marriage No. 5? Love, Pamela doesn’t even mention it, but in a recent Vanity Fair interview, Anderson says it was “a disaster.” She married Hayhurst, her former bodyguard and a contractor working on her house, in December 2020 after she moved back to Ladysmith, B.C., during the pandemic. The union fizzled about a year later, and Anderson is happily single and now lavishing love on her five dogs.