"We just wanted to have babies and be together forever," Pamela Anderson recalls.
Trigger Warning: The following article contains descriptions of intimate partner violence which some readers may find distressing.
Actress and activist Pamela Anderson, 55, writes in her new memoir, Love, Pamela, exclusively excerpted by PEOPLE, about their happy and difficult times together and her love for their two sons, Brandon, 26, and Dylan, 25. It's just one of the many parts of her life covered in the book and the upcoming Netflix documentary Pamela, a Love Story, both of which come out on January 31.
The Baywatch star recalls the early stages of her relationship with Tommy Lee, "We just wanted to have babies and be together forever." In hindsight, Anderson feels that "My relationship with Tommy may have been the only time I was ever truly in love."
She wore a bikini to their Cancun beach wedding in 1995, while he wore board shorts, making headlines for months. Their love and life were sometimes extraordinary. However, the theft of their private tapes from a safe in their garage—tapes that were later turned into a "sex tape" and sold by others—increased the tabloid and paparazzi's obstinate chase behind their personal lives, as depicted in Hulu’s 2022 miniseries Pam & Tommy, reports PageSix.
Anderson feels that this impacted the tenor of their relationship. "It ruined lives, starting with our relationship — and it's unforgivable that people, still to this day, think they can profit from such a terrible experience, let alone a crime," writes Anderson, who has never watched the stolen tape.
The strains and stress of having their two young sons at home eventually became too much for them, she writes. She shares that Lee twisted her arm one evening in 1998 as she was holding Dylan, who was seven months old, and Brandon was playing nearby. "Tommy ripped Brandon off me and threw me and Dylan into a wall." In a panic, she dialed 911. "Our hell began," Anderson describes the fear. After being detained, Tommy spent six months in jail.
After filing for divorce, Anderson concentrated on looking after her sons and finding healing in the months and years that followed. "The divorce from Tommy was the hardest, lowest, most difficult point of my life," she writes in her memoir. "I was crushed. I still couldn't believe that the person I loved the most was capable of what had happened that night. We were both devastated, but I had to protect my babies."
She and Lee "check-in, every once in a while," she recalls, some 20 years later, adding, "Tommy is the father of my kids and I'm forever grateful." She is now surrounded by her five dogs, her favorite books, her garden, and the sea in her grandparents' former home on Vancouver Island, where she resides alone. "I live a more romantic life now that I'm alone than I did in relationships," says Anderson, who married Kid Rock, Rick Salomon twice, but one of their weddings was annulled. She later married Dan Hayhurst, a marriage of less than one year that ended in 2021.
"l light my candles, have my music playing. I have my piano, I'm sure it would be lovely if someone else was in my life and wanted the same thing but I've just never met them. It's usually about catering to them, and there has to be a balance."
"I don't need someone to bring me roses," Anderson says with a smile, as she prepares to share her full story with the world, and the lessons of self-love. She added, "I've just planted a hundred rose bushes. I can get them any time I want — and they're my favorite roses."
Cover Image Source: (L) Getty Images | Alberto E. Rodriguez; (R) Getty Images | Kevin Winter