“Sometimes you wonder why you’re talking about it all again but …it’s good to get it out at least once or twice in your own words”
Pamela Anderson may be more known for images than for her words, but she uses plenty of the latter in the new documentary Pamela, A Love Story. When it comes to the blonde Baywatch bombshell you may think you’ve seen all there is to see and know all there is to know, but here are 13 revelations from the doc now streaming on Netflix.
Disclaimer: Some of the information below may be disturbing.
Her Childhood Home Was Chaotic
Pamela’s parents, who were just 17 and 19-years-old and already expecting Pam when they got married, had what most would call a tumultuous relationship. Pam recalled a house full of yelling and instances of violence. She recalled one memory involving her mother vacuuming their small Ladysmith, British Columbia home while her father was watching hockey and her father grabbing the vacuum and throwing it over her mother’s head down to the beach below.
She Was Molested By a Female Babysitter
In addition to the chaos of her everyday family life, Pam says she was also molested as a child by a female babysitter. “It was three to four years of abuse,” she reveals. The babysitter was liked by her parents so Pam kept the abuse to herself but she did let the babysitter know how she felt, telling the doc she once tried to stab the babysitter with a candy cane pen and told her she wanted her to die. “Then she died in a car accident the next day,” revealed Pam. “So I thought I killed her with my magical mind and I couldn’t tell anybody but I was sure that I did it…I lived with that my whole really young life.”
She Was Raped As A Preteen
In the documentary Pam reveals she was raped a when she was 12 by a 25-year-old man. Her friend was seeing an older man at the time and they went to his house when the man and her friend disappeared leaving her alone with another man.Pam kept the attack secret saying, “my Mom was always crying about my Dad, I couldn’t bear to hurt her more, I didn’t tell her or anyone.” Pam says the incident left her feeling shy, ashamed, and like it was her fault.
She Had Never Been on a Plane Before Shooting Playboy
Pamela was famously scouted by Playboy magazine thanks to a Labatt beer campaign she appeared in after being spotted on the Jumbotron at a BC Lions game. The story is well-known but what you may not have known is until it was time to fly to Los Angeles to shoot her October 1989 Playboy spread, Pam had never been on an airplane. And she almost didn’t get on a plane for Playboy, either. After she told a border agent she was headed to LA to shoot for Playboy she was turned away and told she didn’t have the proper paperwork to work in the United States. Pam hopped a Greyhound bus from Vancouver to Seattle and boarded a flight there.
Pam Was Shy Before Playboy
Before posing for the iconic men’s magazine, Pam described herself as shy and not overly comfortable with her sexuality. But during that first shoot Pam learned not only to embrace it, but to celebrate her sexuality, telling the documentary, “that’s when a wild woman was born.” Pam says she saw the spread as “taking back” her sexuality after her previous assaults.
Sylvester Stallone Once Made Her an Offer She Could, In Fact, Refuse
After deciding to call Los Angeles home following her first Playboy shoot, the blonde bombshell dated a series of men with various degrees of success. Sylvester Stallone once offered to buy her a Porsche and condo to be his “number one girlfriend.” When she asked him, “does that mean there’s a number two?” he told her, “that’s the best offer you’re going to get, honey, you’re in Hollywood now.” Pamela politely declined the offer.”I wanted to really be in love and I didn’t want anything less than that.”
She Was Asked About Her Boobs A Lot. Like, All The Time
After getting her signature breast implants in the early ’90s, Pam was often asked about her boobs in interviews. Like, a lot. The documentary featured a positively cringe-inducing montage of various, and mostly male, talk show hosts asking Pam about her ample assets. The interview questions from Matt Lauer definitely aged the most poorly. Pam was always a good sport at the time and even said, “my boobs had a career and I was just tagging along,” but admits looking back, she sees things differently now. “I think it’s inappropriate to ask women those questions, there has to be some line that people don’t cross.”‘
Her Stolen Sex Tape Brought Up Past Trauma
“That’s the oh shit moment” Pam says of realizing intimate private tapes of her and husband Tommy Lee had been stolen and released without their consent. A lawsuit followed which Pam says brought up past sexual assault trauma, causing her to feel violated all over again. She calls the experience “brutal” and says of the legal process, “I remember thinking, ‘why do they hate me so much, why do these grown men hate me?’” Pam and Tommy eventually dropped the lawsuit. Pam and Tommy were the butt of a lot of late night jokes at the time which she says she eventually just leaned into saying, “that was the deterioration of whatever image I had. I lived up to the caricature, I’d catch myself living more like that than myself.” Eventually Pam grew tired of her sex symbol and wild child image telling the doc, “I was sick of talking about my boyfriends and my boobs all the time.”
She Didn’t Love Kid Rock
After her marriage to Tommy Lee imploded, Pam got together with singer Kid Rock in 2001.The pair got engaged in 2022 and then broke up in 2003. They reconciled and married in 2006 only to call it quits in 2007. “We had a great time, we had fun together,” she explains in the doc, “he was really good to the boys but I didn’t feel like this is love because I have an impression of what love is and this isn’t it…”it just didn’t have that height, that frenzy that I was used to.” Instead of another frenzy, for her next marriage, Pamela though, “maybe I should get married to a friend” and chose longtime friend Rick Saloman who had his own experience with a sex tape gone public (he was the co-star in Paris Hilton’s) “Then we got married and he ended up being a big drug addict,” she tells the doc, revealing “she found a crack pipe in the Christmas tree.” The marriage was annulled a few months later. Pam and Rick remained friends and years later when he got sober they remarried in 2014, “but that didn’t last long, either,” explained Pam. The couple split again in 2015.
But She Really Loves Love
After being married six times to five different five, it’s safe to say you can call Pamela a hopeless romantic. In fact, Smokey Robinson once said to her, at the Playboy Mansion no less, “Baby you’re a romantic, keep on trying,” adding, “I love it. Some people get bitter and you just keep going.” Pam’s own son Dylan agrees, telling the doc, “She loves getting married. Maybe her favourite thing in the world is falling in love and I guess the idea of falling out of love, too.”
Tommy Might Be Pamela’s One True Love
At one point in the documentary when Pam is revising old home movies with her sons, she tells her eldest Brandon, “I really loved your dad for all the right reasons and I don’t think I’ve ever loved anyone else.” While their relationship may have begun in a whirlwind and turned tumultuous before ultimately burning out, it seems Tommy was, and still is, “the one” for Pamela. “There were no secrets, no deception, no game-playing, it was full-on heart-to-heart explosive kind of love,” she says. “One of the wildest, most beautiful love affairs ever.” Later, in the doc, she admits, “I think what it all comes down to is I never got over not being able to make it work with the father of my kids,” adding, “even though I thought I could recreate a family or fall in love with somebody else, it’s just not me so I think that’s probably why I keep failing in all my relationships.”
That said, Pamela doesn’t view Tommy entirely through rose-coloured glasses. “I romanticize the past,” she admits. “But now that we’re talking about it a little bit, I can remember some things that were big red flags.” Pam and Tommy’s son Brandon might just sum it up best saying, “my parents were actually probably the most insane people to ever live on planet Earth.”
She Doesn’t See Herself As A Victim
She may have been through the ringer a few times in her life, but don’t feel sorry for Pamela Anderson. “I’m not a victim,” she tells the doc, “I’m not the damsel in distress, I’m very capable,” she proclaims.”I’ve put myself in crazy situations and survived them.” And while it’s been a rollercoaster, Pam wouldn’t change a thing. “I’m grateful for all the experiences I’ve had and I don’t blame anyone for anything. I’m glad it happened.”
She Doesn’t Know What The Future Holds
After a successful eight-week run as Roxie Hart in a Broadway production of Chicago, Pamela doesn’t quite know what the future holds. And she’s okay with it. “I’m sure I’m not finished but I have no idea what I’m going to do next,” she tells the doc. “My kids are grown and I’m basically alone. But I kind of like this moment right now where I have no clue what’s gonna happen.”