Pamela Anderson is opening up about a lot of things ahead of the release of her memoir, Love, Pamela, and documentary, Pamela, a Love Story, next week, including her thoughts on Hulu’s Pam & Tommy. The series, which premiered nearly a year ago, received wide acclaim for its telling of the theft and release of Anderson and Tommy Lee’s 1996 sex tape. Although Anderson says that she has not watched the show and does not plan to, she has some thoughts about its creation.
In an interview with Variety, Anderson opened up about how difficult it was to know that the show was happening, saying, “It was just shocking. Tommy probably thought it was funny. I remember Tommy writing me a note saying, ‘Don’t let this hurt you like it did the first time,’ because he had heard through the kids that I was kind of struggling with the idea of bringing this all up again. I don’t think he was portrayed kindly. I just know that I refuse to watch it.”
Anderson also described the people behind the series as “assholes” and described the creation of the show as “salt on the wound,” adding: “You still owe me a public apology.” Anderson apparently also thought that billboards featuring Lily James and Sebastian Stan as the show’s title characters looked like “a Halloween costume.”
Talking with Rolling Stone, Anderson also recalled the 1997 trial in which she and Lee sued Seth Warshavsky and IEG Entertainment for mass-producing and selling the tape. Anderson, who was subjected to intense questioning on the stand, said she felt violated during the trial, comparing it to her experience being raped as a child.
“The lawyers basically said, ‘You’re in Playboy. You have no right to privacy,’” Anderson told Rolling Stone. “They would ask about my sex life. And I kept on thinking, ‘How am I getting questioned about my sexuality, and my preferences, and my body parts, and where I like to make love when it’s stolen property?’ It made me feel like I was such a horrible woman. I was just a piece of meat. This should mean nothing to me because I’m such a whore, basically.”
She added, “It felt like a rape. Not to bring up something really heavy from my childhood, but when I was attacked by this guy, I thought everybody would know. When the tape was stolen, it felt like that. And the depositions were so brutal. I remember looking at them thinking, ‘Why do they hate me so much? Why do these grown men hate me so much?!’”
The producers of Pam & Tommy, along with James, who portrayed Anderson, reportedly reached out to Anderson, but never heard back from her. They went ahead with the series, which was largely based on Rolling Stone’s 2014 story, “Pam and Tommy: The Untold Story of the World’s Most Infamous Sex Tape,” by Amanda Chicago Lewis. Those involved in the series previously said that they “tried to do right by” Anderson.
Anderson clarified that she doesn’t have a problem with James for taking on the role. “I think it’s hard to play somebody when you don’t know the whole picture,” Anderson told Variety. “I’ve got nothing against Lily James. I think that she’s a beautiful girl and she was just doing the job. But the idea of the whole thing happening was just really crushing for me.” Anderson added that she felt the series distracted people from other accomplishments in her life, including her starring as Roxy Hart in Chicago on Broadway after the finale aired.
Love, Pamela and Pamela, a Love Story come out January 31.
This post has been updated.