It was a match not made in heaven: Former Playboy model and Baywatch star Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee, the hard-partying drummer for Mötley Crüe. The two married and divorced just as quickly, though not before having two sons, who were brought up in the middle of their parents’ constant scandals. Now, they can’t escape the headlines, either.
Brandon Thomas Lee and Dylan Jagger Lee had a very different kind of celebrity childhood. But in the beginning, it mostly mirrored that of many others, one made more chaotic with hordes of paparazzi going after them.
Cameras always flashed whenever their parents, Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee, went out with them. But it didn’t happen overnight. The turmoil really began all the way back when they become lovers.
In the Rolling Stone’s “Ballad of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee,” Lee described his version of their love story. Right away, it started off at an odd place. After Lee had met Anderson at a New Year’s Eve party, he was obsessed.
Lee described how, in 1995, upon learning of a modeling trip booked for Anderson, he was so desperate for a first date, he booked his own flight. He traveled to Cancún after her and painstakingly searched hotels until he found hers.
After a first date, it took the two only 4 days for them to decide to marry. Such an intense passion had grown between them, a wedding seemed only logical. But a cold surge of reality soon hit them.
Paparazzi gathered everywhere the two went, like moths to a porch light. It caused further distress when the photographers blocked an approaching ambulance after Anderson suffered a miscarriage.
Brandon was born in 1996. Dylan in 1997. Lee and Anderson had started a family and that’s when the paparazzi drama was replaced with what went on behind closed doors. There was a storm brewing.
Pamela and Tommy didn’t hold back when they fought, and each time got uglier than the last. One of their nastiest spats came following the leak of their infamous sex tape. In 1998, three years after it started, their marriage finally ended.
After the divorce, Lee received a six-month prison sentence for a spousal abuse conviction. As for Pamela, she became Brandon and Dylan’s primary caregiver as they lived in Malibu. The boys found it difficult to adjust at times.
The beach city certainly had its pleasures…but there had been one negative for Dylan: the lack of snow. Pamela knew what to do. She ordered a large shipment of the cold stuff and her backyard filled up with it.
Not every problem was so simple for the boys. Their classmates harassed them due to their mother’s sex symbol status. Bullies made a point of going after them. Trying her best to give her sons a clean slate, Pamela made a very different decision than most celebrity parents.
Brandon and Dylan were sent to boarding school, far off in the isolated parts of British Columbia. Of the two, Brandon was the more hesitant, but being away from the Hollywood bubble ended up helping tremendously.
For Brandon Lee, he discovered a career path he could follow as he grew up. His good looks proved more useful than paparazzi footage. He had the opportunity to become a model, so he took it.
On more than one occasion, Brandon walked down the runway in fashion shows for Dolce & Gabbana and loved every minute of it. Instead of the wildly clicking cameras of the paparazzi, Brandon was the focus of professional photographers.
Brandon also became fascinated with TV. So much so, he decided to head into acting, like his mother, with featured roles in Netflix’s Sierra Burgess Is a Loser and the hip hop anthology, Tales.
For Dylan, a bit of parental inspiration guided him as well. He decided to follow loosely in his father’s footsteps and enter the music industry. Being a music producer and DJ became an objective for the younger brother.
Much of Dylan’s life also came to revolve around surfing. Besides its physical demands, the mental concentration of the sport was the biggest perk. Out on the waves, Dylan could leave everything behind, even if for a bit.
After all this time, the drama in the Lee-Anderson family hasn’t disappeared but merely shifted. In 2018, an incident between Brandon and his father escalated into a fight. Allegedly, the eldest son managed to knock out the old drummer of Mötley Crüe.
The fight was later blamed on Tommy’s alcoholism and self-defense on Brandon’s part. Pressed by reporters, Pamela didn’t hide her views and expressed support for her son through her blog and anywhere else she could.
This rebellious celebrity family had its share of scandals over the years. But through it all, the estranged relationship with Tommy didn’t push Pamela away from her sons. It brought them closer together. Fortunately for Pam, she learned how to survive Hollywood at an early age.
Before she was the renowned model we know today, a 22-year-old Pamela Anderson showed up to a B.C. Lions game in her native Canada wearing a Labatt’s Beer shirt. Her beauty caught the eye of the beer company, and executives signed her to be a spokesmodel.
This was the first of her modeling jobs, though she soon started working with Playboy magazine. Her over 20-year career with the publication resulted in her appearing on more covers than any other model.
If you’re not a Playboy subscriber, Anderson’s impact on the cultural landscape can be summed up by an iconic red bathing suit and some tasteful slow-motion technology. Her role as C.J. Parker on the T.V. show Baywatch is unforgettable.
Her general success and somewhat controversial status created a sizable media circus surrounding her personal life…particularly in the context of romantic relationships. Anderson went through a lot when it came to matters of the heart.
And while it’s her most recent romantic involvement with producer Jon Peters that has left people scratching their heads in 2020, Anderson has been pretty unlucky in love for most of her life. Her first marriage was to none other than rocker Tommy Lee.
After a few very volatile years of marriage and two children, they called it quits in 1998. Following Tommy Lee, Anderson had a brief engagement to model Marcus Schenkenberg. Then, she found love once again with Kid Rock.
After being on again and off again for years, they married for a single year before finally separating for good. Husband number three was poker player Rick Salomon and after marrying, annulling, then marrying again and divorcing, they parted ways in a brutal 2015 legal battle.
So, these last few years have seen a legally single Anderson who has placed her time and energy elsewhere than the entertainment industry. Her occasional appearances on television have taken a backseat to her political endeavors.
She is a vocal and outspoken advocate of animal rights, having aligned herself with the organization PETA on multiple occasions. Anderson has taken it upon herself to write to government officials such as Justin Trudeau and Vladimir Putin in defense of various animal causes.
Another common issue that brings Anderson’s name to the headlines is her staunch defense and open admiration of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. “I love him, I can’t imagine what he has been going through,” Anderson commented about Assange.
In 2020, Anderson would be back in the spotlight for her love life. On January 20th, Anderson married producer Jon Peters. Twelve days later, on February 1st, she announced their separation. In the words of Anderson, she “needed to take a step back.”
Peters and Anderson met at a Playboy mansion party in 1985 and began dating for awhile before they parted ways. When they came back together all these years later, it seemed like fate. So what happened?
Well, the 74-year-old producer claimed Anderson was taking advantage of him. He believed she only married him in order to pay off her debts, while he was really in love with the Baywatch star.
Allegedly, Anderson proposed to him via text and Peters jumped at the chance even though he stated he was already engaged at the time of her proposal. After dropping everything to be with Pam, it didn’t quite end happily ever after.
“She had almost $200,000 in bills and no way to pay it, so I paid it and this is the thanks I get. There’s no fool like an old fool,” he explained of the situation. Anderson’s rep told the story very differently.
“These claims are not only entirely fabricated,” the rep said. “They are ludicrous. Despite Mr. Peters’ scurrilous and ongoing efforts to elicit a response from Ms. Anderson, she has no comment to provide and hopes he is well.” For Anderson, it’s nothing to do with money.
Meanwhile, a close source said that everything was moving too fast for Anderson. “Pam’s a romantic, but she is also very independent,” the source claimed. “This all moved a bit fast, so they both agreed to put it off.”
Anderson didn’t have the same level of animosity as Peters. She told People magazine that she wanted to “remain friends.” But one thing made it clear that Peters wasn’t taking the split quite as hard as he made it seem.
Jon Peters got engaged to Julia Bernheim 3 weeks after his divorce from Pamela Anderson! Of course, this hurt Pam, but in the end, her independent side won out.