The Day Tommy Lee Married Pamela Anderson (96 Hours After They Met)
When Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee walked down the aisle with Pamela Anderson on Feb. 19, 1995, pretty much everyone who heard the news was surprised, including Anderson’s own mother, who told People that it was “heartbreaking and shocking.”
Not the most auspicious of beginnings for a marriage, perhaps, but these crazy kids just had to be together, as evidenced by the whirlwind four-day courtship that saw Lee jetting off to Cancun and chasing Anderson down during the middle of a modeling gig. It’s the kind of stalkerish behavior that would get most guys arrested today, but as Lee later told Rolling Stone, it fit right in with their relationship to that point.
Recalling that Anderson made the first move by ordering him a shot of Goldschlager when he visited her Sanctuary club on New Year’s Eve of 1994, Lee said he was immediately smitten — partly because he was high on Ecstasy. “On Ecstasy, Joan Rivers looks like Pamela Anderson, so imagine what Pamela Anderson looked like,” he said. “I just stared at her all night, and she just stared back.”
Though the night included some impromptu face-licking, it didn’t immediately lead to more. As Lee told Rolling Stone, “the problem with meeting someone you like in Los Angeles is that everybody is always too busy to get together,” and even when they did finally make a date, Anderson had to cancel because of work commitments. When she told him she had to go to Cancun for a photo shoot, Lee knew what he had to do.
Impulsively jetting off to follow the woman of his dreams, Lee set the tone for what was to follow, and as he later told it, the decision to propose was also spur-of-the-moment. After a few days of partying, he recalled, “I took off my pinky ring, put it on her finger and asked her to marry me. She said yes, hugged me and stuck her tongue down my throat.”
The ceremony, attended by eight guests and ending with Lee throwing his new bride in the ocean, was non-traditional in just about every way; in fact, instead of buying rings, the two had them tattooed on their fingers. Overnight, they went from a tourist destination fling to one of the most breathlessly covered celebrity couples in L.A.
As Anderson’s mother suspected, the union wasn’t meant to last. The next three turbulent years brought the birth of two sons, but the couple’s happy moments were often overshadowed by salacious scandal (such as the theft of their sex tape), breakups and allegations of domestic abuse.
They divorced in 1998, and Lee served four months in prison after pleading no contest to assaulting Anderson while she was holding one of their children. But even in divorce, Pam and Tommy refused to follow the rules, making up and breaking up multiple times over the next decade.
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