Pamela Anderson on surviving abuse, paparazzi and the infamous sex tape

Pamela Anderson on surviving abuse, paparazzi and the infamous sex tape

Pamela Anderson on surviving abuse, paparazzi and the infamous sex tape

After decades of chasing the bright lights she wanted so badly – and catching some she didn’t – Pamela Anderson has come home to the rustic beauty of the Pacific Northwest, to her town native on Vancouver Island called Ladysmith, and the quietness she needed (whatever he calls “crazy calm”) to relaunch her career and redefine her life.

“I was a mess,” she said. “I came back in pieces.”

And are there paparazzi here? “Nothing bad. I feel very protected here. About Ladysmith Beach, she said, “I usually run there barefoot, you know, any time of the year!”

Pamela Anderson with correspondent Jim Axelrod on the beach in Ladysmith, Vancouver Island.

CBS News

A different kind of beach than most people associate with her – the one she patrolled in “Baywatch.” This 1990s TV show had made her, for a time, one of the most famous faces and bodies in the world. “I was getting away with murder in a bikini,” she said. “I mean, I had nothing to do.” The series took off like crazy. “It was like 150 countries. I didn’t even know there were 150 countries!” she laughed.

Pamela Anderson
Actress Pamela Anderson in “Baywatch”, c. 1990.

Kypros/Getty Images

Stardom came with first-rate chaos: six marriages; one case of hepatitis C; and the first sex tape of the internet age, made on her honeymoon with Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee. But after years of others telling his story on their terms, Anderson is now telling it on his own. Her memoir, “Love Pamela,” and a companion Netflix documentary, “Pamela, A Love Story,” drop at the end of the month. “I’m writing my book, this documentary is coming out. Then I can put it all behind me,” she said.

‘It All’ is an often harrowing tale – and she says she presents the full picture, which meant describing a childhood shaped by trauma – such as the time her father held her mother’s head against the stove and Anderson hit his father. in the face. “These are pivotal times for me,” she said.

Another time with her dad, when she was six or seven, she said she was told not to bring kittens into the house. “And I had my kittens at home. And so he ended up putting them in a paper bag and running to the beach, me screaming at him. And he drowned the kittens.”

Then there was the babysitter who sexually assaulted her. “A predatory woman, that was hard to fathom,” Anderson said. “It made me trust people less and less.”



She also writes gripping accounts of being raped at age 12 and then at age 14. She said, “The point is not to keep these secrets, or these things, buried.”

In the midst of all this horror, there was a small stroke of luck. Hired by a beer company to model after being spotted at a football game in one of their T-shirts, “lucky-break” became “life-changing” when Hugh Hefner saw the ads. The next thing she knew Anderson was on a plane to LA

Axelrod asked, “When the opportunity came, you had to take it because you could get out of that place where there were so many bad memories?”

“Yes. And my grandfather taught me, ‘You are not an extension of the small town. You are not an extension of your parents. You are a bright new light given to this planet to make it what you want.’ Eventually, I wasn’t afraid of it. I said, ‘Let’s go. Let’s see where it takes me.'”

Within months, in 1989, she was on the first of 14 Playboy covers.

Axelrod asked, “You write that you were sexualized so young, Playboy was an opportunity for you to reclaim your sexuality?”

“With vengeance. Oh, it’s a textbook, if you want to get into a bit of psychology. It was to face it and deal with it my way.”

Her path included an impulsive marriage to Tommy Lee after knowing him for just four days. His penchant for security has turned a bad boy rocker into his own prince charming. “Tommy and I fell in love. It felt like this place was really safe,” she said. “He would come home on a horse covered in full knight gear, a knight in shining armor, and read me a scroll. It was so hyper-intensified. But it felt good. It was like, ‘ Oh my God, that’s what it’s all about. That’s real love.’ It was so romantic, it was so over the top.”

“But that’s not the basis for lasting love,” Axelrod said.

“No, that’s not the basis for lasting love. I haven’t done that yet!” she laughed. “I haven’t figured out that part yet!”

She may have tried to dull the pain with a fairy tale, but there would be no happily ever after. Not after the tape was stolen.

Ah, yes, this band. The one Tommy Lee and Pamela made on their honeymoon. It was stolen from their safe, their intimate moments turned into a profit center for others.

Axelrod asked, “What do you want people to understand about this?”

“That it was stolen property,” she said. “That it was two naked lunatics who loved each other. We were naked all the time and filming each other and being dumb. But those tapes weren’t meant for anyone else to see. And I don’t haven’t seen to date.” Her exploitation by others was, she said, “very hurtful”.

Its notoriety has made it a painful cultural punchline. Her marriage to Tommy Lee would not survive. Nor the five others who came after. She was barely holding on, concentrating on the two young sons she had with Lee. “I was a mother; it saved me,” she said. “You know, if I wasn’t a mom, I don’t think I would have survived.”

Actress Pamela Anderson, author of the memoir “Love, Pamela”.

CBS News

Anderson knew she had work to do: “To really dig into those moments, those things that we suppress and repress, I had to.”

And do it alone.

Axelrod asked, “Are you all done falling in love?”

” I do not know ! ” she laughed. “Right now it’s really good for me to be alone for the first time. People come in and out of my life, or people come into my life, and I thought the common denominator in all of these relationships is me. So I need to work on that.”

To defeat the demons, she returned to where she had first faced them – home, in the seclusion of Ladysmith.

“That full-circle story was very therapeutic,” she said. “And I knew I had to kind of retrace my steps when I was a kid. And it was very visual, very triggering and very therapeutic to be at home. There was a lot of anger. I felt volcanic , just this rage was coming out of me. Wow, where does that come from? Little by little, I started to get stronger and stronger.”

Last year, Anderson decided it was time for the next stage of her recovery – one that would take place 3,000 miles from her home in Canada, on Broadway, playing Roxie Hart, the femme fatale in the musical “Chicago”, to some surprisingly good reviews.

Pamela Anderson in the musical “Chicago”.

CBS News

“I wanted to know what I was capable of,” she said. “I need to know that I’m good at something, that I have talent. It was scary, but it feels good. You want to push yourself out of your comfort zone.”

And what was the scariest part? “Singing, I can’t do that. Dancing, I can’t do that. Acting, I can’t do that. Like, how am I going to do all three together?”

“You got great reviews.”

” Yeah. I know. It was shocking! she laughed.

Right outside the stage door, 55-year-old Pamela Anderson found exactly what she needed: “I felt grounded, which was a different feeling than I had felt before.”

The perfect feeling to take home, where her pain is rooted…and now, her healing too. “I feel like I left here, did something crazy, and came home in one piece.

“I don’t know what I’m capable of. I still don’t know, but I think that was the start. Everything else is, you know, behind me. I feel like I’m in a very good place.”

“It looks like a great life,” Axelrod said.

” It’s good. And look around me: I’m very lucky.

To watch a trailer for the Netflix documentary ‘Pamela, A Love Story’, click on the video player below:

Pamela, a love story | Official trailer | netflix through
netflix on Youtube

For more information:

Story produced by Gabriel Falcon. Publisher: Steven Tyler.

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