Celebrity couple Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee were the whirlwind romance of the mid-to-late '90s, knowing each other for four days before deciding to get married on a beach in Cancún in 1995. While the pair aren't together anymore, their infamous sex tape is the topic of the new biographical miniseries Pam & Tommy from Hulu, in which Lily James plays Pam and Sebastian Stan plays Tommy.
It's been decades since the actress and the Mötley Crüe drummer's romance first made headlines, but why did the pair really break up — and did it have anything to do with their stolen tape?
Did Pam and Tommy's sex tape have to do with their divorce?
It wouldn't have been surprising if the couple's sex tape was part of the reason for their split. Not long after they wed, the video was stolen from a safe in their home by their former electrician Rand Gauthier, who had taken the safe as the $20,000 payment he claimed Tommy owed him for his work.
It didn't take long for the tape to become widely distributed, selling online for $59.95 a piece. The couple filed lawsuits over the tape in 1996 against anyone they believed possessed a copy.
Their private video was one of the first things to go "viral" online after hundreds of thousands of copies of it were sold through the internet following the conclusion of a lawsuit that only addressed the distribution of the tape's physical copies.
But despite the strain something like that being released to the public would put on a relationship, the reason for their divorce clearly went beyond their tape.
Why did Pam and Tommy actually file for divorce?
The pressure of their leaked sex tape likely put a strain on the pair's bond, but Pam didn't file for divorce from Tommy until 1998, three years after they had initially wed.
By this time, the pair had two children, Brandon and Dylan (born in 1996 and 1997), lasting longer than many of their naysayers believed they would.
While Pam and Tommy's children were still very young, Tommy was arrested on charges of spousal abuse. Allegedly, during an argument, Tommy kicked Pam in the back and bottom three times while she was holding Dylan (who was still an infant at the time). This left the Baywatch star with multiple red marks along her back.
It wasn't long following Tommy's arrest that Pam filed for the divorce, citing "irreconcilable differences," and requested that the last name "Lee" be dropped from her name.
Tommy ultimately pled no contest to the charges and spent six months in jail following the arrest.
Despite going their separate ways, though, things weren't completely over for the couple. They went on to rekindle their romance in 2008, with Pam taking her two sons and moving back in with Tommy. But they split again in 2010, calling it quits for good.
Now, Pam recently split from husband Dan Hayhurst, whom she'd married in 2020, while Tommy wed former Vine star Brittany Furlan in 2019.