Pamela Anderson and son Brandon Lee claim she never saw a dime from the sex tape she filmed with ex-husband Tommy Lee... even after suing its distributors
Pamela Anderson's privacy was invaded when a sex tape she made with her then-husband Tommy Lee was stolen and distributed without their consent in the 1990s.?
And now the 55-year-old actress and icon has reiterated her claims that she and her ex never saw any money from the widely circulated sex tape.
While chatting with her and Tommy's son Brandon Lee, 26, at a New York City screening of the new Netflix documentary Pamela, A Love Story, she said that people have refused to believe that she could have never been compensated for the tape despite its popularity.
'I don’t think anyone wanted to believe it,' she said at a talk back, according to IndieWire. 'Plus, we just let it go.'
According to the actress, she and Tommy decided it was best for her mental and physical health to give up on being fairly compensated.?
Empty-handed: Pamela Anderson, 55, delved into her claims that she never made any money off of her sex tape with ex Tommy Lee at a New York City screening of Pamela, A Love Story with her son Brandon Lee on Wednesday (pictured)
'After the depositions and all this craziness — and I was pregnant with Dylan — we didn’t wanna put any more stress on the baby. Tommy and I just said, "F*** them, karma, whatever," we just left it. We really just tried to leave it in the past.?
'So we didn’t do a press tour talking about what money we didn’t get. That was just dirty money. We didn’t want it. And we ended up OK,' she said.
Pam's claim that she never received any payment is surprising, considering that she and Tommy were victorious in multiple lawsuits over the sex tape.
However, the distributor may have never paid up despite being ordered to pay the couple, as it went out of business.
The tape was stolen in 1995 by?Rand Gauthier, an electrician who had done work on the couple's house. After Tommy refused to pay him for the work he had done, he stole a massive safe from their garage.
It was only after he had a chance to go through the contents that he learned that the footage from the sex tape had been locked away in the safe.?
The tape was later obtained by?Seth Warshavsky, who initially streamed the video online, before trying to set up a distribution agreement with Pamela and Tommy.
The couple eventually signed the agreement to cut down on their stresses over lawsuits, but the agreement — which Pam reportedly thought would confine distribution to online — ended up being much broader than she believed.?
Payback: In 1995, Pamela and Tommy's sex tape was stolen by a disgruntled electrician after Tommy had allegedly refused to pay him for work he did on their home; seen in 1996
Giving up: After it was distributed online, the frustrated couple gave up on legal remedies and signed an agreement they thought would limit it to online-only distribution; seen in 1996
Left out: But the agreement was so broad that the tape was licensed and sold to adult video stores, making hundreds of millions, none of which Pamela or Tommy ever saw; still from Pam & Tommy
With the agreement signed,?Warshavsky then licensed the video out to a video company to print physical copies for sale in adult stores.
Sales of the tape reportedly generated hundreds of millions in dollars, but none of that money was making its way back to Pam and Tommy.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the couple then filed a copyright suit for the physical distribution. As they had made the tape together — and not just starred in it — they were considered the copyright holders.?
The couple were eventually awarded $740,000 each in a judgement against Warshavsky, but he reportedly never paid either of them.?
During the talk back, Pamela admitted that she allowed the documentary — which is directed by Ryan White — to be made as a way to help understand herself and her extraordinary life.
'I just think, why not? Everyone’s different, let’s try and dig into those feelings that nobody else has,' she said of the decision to proceed.
'We all have a purpose, and if we can just find our unique forward-thinking ideas, that’s where all the interesting, good stuff is. So I thought, "If somebody else can do it, I can do it." And I just don’t know what I’m capable of yet. I just want to push myself to the limit. I don’t know what my purpose is, I’m just having fun doing it and trying all the things. I think it’s a survival mechanism — trying to have a good time, even if things are hard.'
Stiffed: Pamela and Tommy eventually won lawsuits against the distributor, but they were allegedly never paid despite winning judgements; seen Wednesday
Public service: Brandon (R) said he wanted the film, which he produced, to help humanize his larger-than-life mother; seen with father Tommy (L) and brother Dylan (Center)
Brandon said he hoped the documentary would help to humanize his larger-than-life mother to its viewers.
'My whole goal with this was to give everyone a glimpse of what I got to see every day when I came home from school. Every day at my soccer practices, being a dedicated mom, and just all around a supportive human being, trying to live this normal life inside a world that just really didn’t understand her,' he said. ;The way she was treated was unacceptable, and we should all be ashamed of ourselves for being a part of that.'
Pamela apparently stayed out of the making of the film, but Brandon, who is a producer on the documentary, was conflicted about how much control he should cede to the director.
'There were definitely times where I thought, "Am I gonna be able to keep a level head as a producer on this project and wanna do what’s best for the film?" I constantly battled that with a lot of stuff that was in the film about my family,' he said.
'You’re watching your life come together in reverse, and I don’t think that a lot of people get to do that, I’m watching a lot of things that happened with my family in the public eye that I remember certain instances of when I was a kid… but the rest of the world knew the full story and I didn’t. A lot of this for me was kinda catching up to that, so it was very emotional.'
Hard to step back: Brandon admitted he struggled with giving creative control to the director; seen with Pamela and Dylan on January 30