> Zed Book Club / 7 Takeaways From ‘Love, Pamela’, the Hot New Memoir from the Baywatch Star and Playboy Playmate

Photos: Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock (Eric Estrade/AFP via Getty Images); Anderson as CJ Parker on Baywatch (James Aylott/Getty Images); Anderson and Tommy Lee (S. Granitz/WireImage/Getty Images)

> Bookshelf

7 Takeaways From ‘Love, Pamela’, the Hot New Memoir from the Baywatch Star and Playboy Playmate

The self-described love addict sets the record straight on her life and affairs, including tumultuous relationships with four of her five husbands / BY Rosemary Counter / February 1st, 2023


Bouncy Baywatch superstar Pamela Anderson is admittedly an “exceptionally easy target” for public ridicule; the bleached blond and amply (artificially) endowed former Playboy Playmate has spent three decades making tabloid headlines for all the wrong reasons. Whether authorized or not so much, the 55-year-old beauty has been everywhere lately, from Hulu’s 2022 miniseries Pam & Tommy, which dramatized the theft and release of her infamous 1995 sex tape, to Netflix’s Jan. 31 documentary Pamela, A Love Story.

Anderson, infuriated by the Hulu series, refused to watch it, but her sons, Brandon Thomas Lee, 26, and Dylan Jagger Lee, 25, encouraged her to retaliate. In a conversation with journalist Ronan Farrow in Interview magazineAnderson quoted her sons saying, “Mom, no one knows you, and they think they do.” 

The animal lover and long-time vegan, who has appeared in several PETA anti-cruelty campaigns, also defends human rights and freedom of the press, specifically as it relates to her friend, Wikileaks editor Julian Assange, whom she visited at the Ecuadorian embassy in London after the South American country granted him political asylum.  “His job was to publish what came to him without any bias. His intention was to expose all that information so everyone could make a choice instead of just watching CNN or Fox News,” she tells Farrow.

All the attention she attracted for “superficial things” prompted her activism, allowing her to turn the spotlight on causes she believed in. “I was learning about animal experimentation, so I helped create animal welfare laws where there were none. I was speaking to world leaders all of a sudden,” she tells Farrow. “I was talking to people that most people couldn’t get access to. Also, I had [Playboy founder] Hugh Hefner. He was a great proponent of free speech and freedom of the press and human rights. It just all morphed together.”

Her body of work and her actual body are often considered public property, although maybe not for much longer: Love, Pamela is the B.C.-born actress’ much-anticipated memoir – a companion to the documentary produced by son Dylan – that attempts to take control of the narrative and set her sensational story straight.

And, oh, it is ever sensational, right from the day Anderson made headlines on July 1, 1967 as Canada’s “Centennial Baby,” through to a humble and often abusive upbringing in the tiny town of Ladysmith on Vancouver Island, her unlikely discovery on a jumbotron at a football game, and beyond.

 

Pamela Anderson

 

You could argue it’s all because of a fateful call from Hefner, who put her on the magazine’s cover in 1989, and was the first of many men and many marriages that have come to define Anderson. “I think of my life not in years but in who I was in love with at the time,” she writes, and “men are my downfall.” Wiser words were never spoken from a surprisingly good writer and storyteller (and poet!), so we’re following Anderson’s lead with highlights from her book on the badly behaved and poorly matched men she’s picked (or been picked by) over the years.

Playboy Hugh Hefner: Anderson’s ever grateful to Hefner, who she calls a “true gentleman” and “the epitome of chivalry” (they never dated, thank God!), though her book quickly squashes the fairy godfather fantasy with the reality of a man throwing sex parties with careful ratios (“two or three girls per man”) and a strict no-clothes-in-the-pool policy (because “lint gets in the filters”). Similar not-so-classy attendees include Scott Baio, who slides Anderson’s heels off to check out her toes, and Jack Nicholson, whom Anderson walks in on as he’s having a threesome and watching himself in a mirror.

 

Anderson says Hugh Hefner,  at the Playboy Mansion in 2003, was a “true gentleman.” Photo: Laurence Cottrell/FilmMagic

 

Tool-Man Tim Allen: Just one of many the book’s revelations is about Tim Allen, a.k.a. Tim “the Tool Man” Taylor on the sitcom Home Improvement, where Anderson played Lisa, the first “Tool Time” Girl, on the show-inside-a-show. On day one of filming in 1991, he “opened his robe and flashed me quickly — completely naked underneath. He said it was only fair, because he had seen me naked” (in her Playboy spread). Allen has vehemently denied his tool was ever on display.

Mötley Crüe Rockstar Tommy Lee: In case you live under a rock, Lee is Anderson’s on-again, off-again first husband, “covered in a thoughtful story of tattoos.” In 1995, they married in Cancun after he’d followed her there just four days after meeting in a Hollywood club’s VIP room and returned to a sea of paparazzi. And no wonder: Their dramatic three-year union featured his numerous arrests, her suicide attempt, the aforementioned sex tape, two children and his eventual arrest for domestic battery — which led to jail time and divorce, but not the end of the relationship. “We’d have secret meetings, breaking the restraining order,” she writes, where “he’d tap on my window and we’d make love in the car.”

 

Anderson’s relationship with first husband, Tommy Lee, was volatile, but it continued in spite of a restraining order against the rock star. Photo: Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage/Getty Images

 

Country Cowboy Kid Rock: Though Lee threatened to kill him, Kid Rock — whom Anderson calls “Bob”— became Anderson’s husband No. 2. Equally jealous and controlling, he wanted her to relocate to his hometown Detroit when she was intent on staying in Malibu. The marriage lasted just four months until Anderson’s surprise appearance in Borat infuriated Rock, who “stormed out, calling me a whore and worse.”

Serial Celebrity Dater Rick Solomon: Husband No. 3 is poker player Solomon, also a sex tape veteran (with ex Paris Hilton in 2004’s “1 Night in Paris”). In the book, Anderson says her driver owed him “a couple hundred thousand dollars,” and “Rick said that he would forgive the debt … if I married him,” she writes. “Then he upped the ante, he threw in that I’d have to have sex with him, right then.” She does, and they do, but the two-month-old marriage is annulled in 2008 after she finds a crack pipe hidden in a Christmas tree. That should be the end, but it’s not: They rekindled their relationship years later, secretly remarrying in January 2014 and re-divorcing in July.

 

Anderson and Salomon were married twice, but the do-over was short-lived  and they divorced for the second time two months after this picture was taken at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. Photo: David M. Benett/Getty Images for The Pamela Anderson Foundation

 

Sugar Daddy Jon Peters: This strange coupling with the Hollywood producer goes way back to Anderson’s arrival in L.A., when, within days, he puts her up in his Bel Air home and showers her with cars and jewelry. Anderson kept Peters firmly in the friend zone for 35 years until 2020, when, on a whim, he became her fourth husband — for 12 days. Rumour has it Peters paid off Anderson’s mounting debts before she had the union annulled, at which point he told the New York Post’s Page Six “there’s no fool like an old fool.” In a recent interview with Variety magazine, Peters reveals he’s leaving $10 million to Anderson in his will, “whether she needs it or not.”

The Bodyguard Dan Hayhurst: Curious about marriage No. 5? Love, Pamela doesn’t even mention it, but in a recent Vanity Fair interview, Anderson says it was “a disaster.” She married Hayhurst, her former bodyguard and a contractor working on her house, in December 2020 after she moved back to Ladysmith, B.C., during the pandemic. The union fizzled about a year later, and Anderson is happily single and now lavishing love on her five dogs.

THE SCROLL

Camilla Leads Miniature Book Initiative to Celebrate 100th Anniversary of the Queen’s Dolls’ HouseThe miniature book collection includes handwritten tomes by Sir Tom Stoppard, Dame Jacqueline Wilson, Sir Ben Okri and other well-known authors


2024 Giller Prize: Noah Richler, Kevin Chong and Molly Johnson Among Jury MembersAuthor Noah Richler is chairing the jury for this year's Giller Prize, an award's body his father literary icon Mordecai Richler helped launch in 1994.


Queen Camilla to Offer Weekly Reading Recommendations in New Queen’s Reading Room PodcastThe Queen's Reading Room Podcast will feature Her Majesty's book picks as well as literary discussions with authors and celebrities every week.


2023 Booker Prize: Irish Writer Paul Lynch Wins For Dystopian ‘Prophet Song’Canadian Booker Prize jury chair Esi Edugyan called the novel a "a triumph of emotional storytelling, bracing and brave."


Sarah Bernstein’s ‘Study for Obedience’ Wins 2023 Scotiabank Giller PrizeThe author, who gave birth to a daughter 10 days ago, accepted the award remotely from her home in the Scottish Highlands


Governor General’s Literary Awards: Anuja Varghese’s ‘Chrysalis’ Among This Year’s WinnersEach of the 14 writers, illustrators and translators will receive a prize of $25,000


Giller Prize Winner Suzette Mayr Among Finalists Shortlisted for 2023 Governor General’s Literary AwardsThe 14 winners, who will each receive a prize of $25,000, will be announced Nov. 8


Five Authors Shortlisted for This Year’s $100,000 Scotiabank Giller PrizeDionne Irving and Kevin Chong are among the finalists who "probe what it means to be human, to survive, and to be who we are"


Norway’s Jon Fosse Wins Nobel Literature Prize for Giving “Voice to the Unsayable”The author's work has been translated into more than 40 languages, and there have been more than 1,000 different productions of his plays.


Scotiabank Giller Prize Longlist Recognizes 12 Authors Who Demonstrate “the Power of Human Imagination”The 2023 longlist includes the prize's 2005 winner David Bergen and debut novelist Deborah Willis. 


Duke and Duchess of Sussex Buy Film Rights to Canadian Author Carley Fortune’s ‘Meet Me at the Lake’Prince Harry and his wife Meghan have purchased the movie rights to the bestselling romantic novel, which was published in May this year.


Booker Prize Longlist ‘Defined by its Freshness’ as Nominees RevealedEsi Edugyan, chair of the 2023 judges, said each of the 13 novels "cast new light on what it means to exist in our time."


Barack Obama Releases His 2023 Summer Reading ListThe list includes the latest novel by Canadian-born New Zealand author Eleanor Catton.


David Suzuki Takes Inspiration From His Own Grandchildren for New Kid’s Book ‘Bompa’s Insect Expedition’The book features Suzuki and two of his grandchildren exploring the insect population in their own backyard.


Milan Kundera, Author of ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being’, Dies at 94Kundera won global accolades for the way he depicted themes and characters that floated between the mundane reality of everyday life and the lofty world of ideas.


Cormac McCarthy, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Dark Genius of American Literature, Dead at 89McCarthy won the Pulitzer Prize for his 2006 novel 'The Road.'


Remembering the Life and Loves of Literary Bad Boy Martin AmisThe legendary British author has died at 73. His absence will be keenly felt, but Amis leaves behind a book shelf’s worth of novels, including 'London Fields', 'Money' and 'Success', filled with shambolic anti-heroes raising a finger at society. 


Sophie Grégoire Trudeau to Publish Two Books Related to Mental Health and Wellness With Penguin Random House CanadaThe upcoming releases include a wellness book for adults and a picture book for children, which will roll out over the next two years.


Queen Camilla Celebrated Her Love of Books by Having Some Embroidered on Her Coronation GownThe Queen's coronation gown also featured tributes to her children, grandchildren and rescue dogs embroidered into it.


Better Late Than Never: Gabriel Garcia Márquez’s Unpublished Novel Set for Release in 2024'En Agosto Nos Vemos' or 'We'll See Each Other in August' was deemed by the late author's family to be too important to stay hidden


End of an Era: Eleanor Wachtel leaves CBC Radio’s ‘Writers & Company’ After More Than Three Decades on the AirAfter a career interviewing what she describes as the "finest minds in the world," the long-time radio host says she's ready to begin a new chapter.


Canadian Independent Bookstore Day Features Deals, Contests and ReadingsOn Saturday, every book purchased at an indie store qualifies you to enter the Book Lovers Contest, with a chance to win gift cards worth up to $1,000


Translation Project Will Bring Literature From the South Asian Continent to English-Speaking AudiencesThe SALT project aims to translate and publish 40 works by authors from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka


The Book Thief: An Italian Man’s Guilty Plea Ends a Caper That Puzzled the Literary World for YearsFilippo Bernardini’s elaborate phishing scam netted 1,000 unpublished manuscripts by prominent authors including Margaret Atwood and Ian McEwan


The Late Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison Is Honoured with an American StampThe Obamas and Oprah Winfrey pay tribute to the writer whose poetic interpretations of the African American experience gained a world-wide audience


Five Canadian Writers Make the Long List for the Inaugural Carol Shields Prize for FictionThe US$150,000 English-language literary award for female and nonbinary writers redresses the inequality of women in the publishing world


The Furry Green Grump is Back in a Sequel to “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”Dr. Seuss Enterprises will publish “How the Grinch Lost Christmas!” in September


Chris Hadfield to Publish a Sequel to His Blockbuster Debut, “The Apollo Murders,” on Oct. 10"The Defector” brings the Cold War intrigue from space to Earth as the Soviets and Americans race to develop fighter jets


Prince Harry’s ‘Spare’ Continues to Break Worldwide RecordsThe book also seems to have put a dent in the popularity of members of the Royal Family — including the Prince and Princess of Wales.


Prince Harry’s Memoir Breaks U.K. Sales Record On First Day of ReleaseThe publisher of the new memoir, 'Spare", says it had sold 400,000 copies so far across hardback, e-book and audio formats.


Barack Obama’s Favourite Books of 2022The former U.S. president’s 13 titles include Canadians Emily St. John Mandel and Kate Beaton, as well as tomes from Michelle Obama, George Saunders and Jennifer Egan


Here are the 5 Books on Bill Gates’ Holiday Reading ListThe billionaire philanthropist is giving hundreds of copies to little libraries around the world


Sheila Heti and Eli Baxter Among 2022 Governor General’s Literary Award WinnersToronto writer Sheila Heti took home the fiction award for 'Pure Colour,' a novel the GG peer assessment committee called "a work of genius."


Suzette Mayr Wins $100,000 Scotiabank Giller Prize for ‘The Sleeping Car Porter’The 2022 Giller Prize jury called Mayr's novel "alive and immediate — and eerily contemporary."


Writers’ Trust of Canada Awards: Authors Nicholas Herring, Dan Werb Nab Top PrizesThe Writers' Trust of Canada awards amounted to a combined monetary prize value of $270,000.


Bob Dylan Releases ‘The Philosophy of Modern Song,’ a Book of Essays Dissecting 66 Influential SongsIn his new book, Bob Dylan offers up both critique and historical insight into various musical recordings of the last century by a variety of popular artists.


Prince Harry’s Memoir ‘Spare’ Will Be Published in January 2023The long-awaited memoir will tell with "raw unflinching honesty" Prince Harry's journey from "trauma to healing", his publisher said on Thursday.


Sri Lankan Author Shehan Karunatilaka Wins 2022 Booker PrizeKarunatilaka won the prestigious prize on Monday for his second novel ‘The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida’, about a dead war photographer on a mission in the afterlife.


Canadian Council for the Arts Reveals Governor General’s Literary Awards FinalistsThe finalists for the Governor General's Literary Awards spotlight books in both the English and French language, as well as translated works.


New Penguin Random House Award Named After Michelle Obama Will Honour High School WritersMichelle Obama Award for Memoir will provide a $10,000 college scholarship to a graduating public school senior based on their autobiographical submission.


French Author Annie Ernaux, 82, Becomes First French Woman to Win Nobel Prize for LiteratureThe author said, of winning, that "I was very surprised ... I never thought it would be on my landscape as a writer."


Hilary Mantel, Award-Winning British Author of ‘Wolf Hall’ Trilogy, Dies at 70Wolf Hall, published in 2009, and its sequel Bring Up the Bodies, released three years later, both won the Booker Prize, an unprecedented win for two books in the same trilogy and making Mantel the first woman to win the award twice.


Prince William “Cannot Forgive” Prince Harry, According to ‘The New Royals’ Author Katie NichollPrince William “just cannot forgive his brother,” according to Katie Nicholl, author of 'The New Royals: Queen Elizabeth’s Legacy and the Future of the Crown.'


Five Finalists Announced for Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for NonfictionThe winner — to be announced on November 2 — will take home the annual $60,000 prize.


Peter Straub, Bestselling American Horror Writer, Dies at 79Friend and co-author Stephen King has said the author's 1979 book, "Ghost Story," is his favourite horror novel.


Rawi Hage, Billy-Ray Belcourt and Sheila Heti Make the 2022 Scotiabank Giller Prize Long ListThe jury read 138 books to choose 14 titles for the long list, one of which will win the $100,000 prize, one of the richest in Canadian literature


Salman Rushdie, Novelist Who Drew Death Threats, Is Stabbed at New York LectureThe Indian-born novelist who was ordered killed by Iran in 1989 because of his writing, was attacked before giving a talk on artistic freedom.


Raymond Briggs, Creator of Beloved Children’s Tale ‘The Snowman’, Dies at 88First published in 1978, the pencil crayon-illustrated wordless picture book sold more than 5.5 million copies around the world while a television adaption became a Christmas favourite in Britain and was nominated for an Oscar.


Canadian Author Emily St. John Mandel Makes Barack Obama’s 2022 Summer Reading ListObama's list includes everything from fiction to books on politics, cultural exploration and basketball.


Canadian Author Rebecca Eckler to Launch RE:books Publishing House Focused on Female Authors and Fun ReadsThe former National Post columnist says her tagline is ‘What’s read is good, and what’s good is read.’”


Brian Thomas Isaac’s “All the Quiet Places” wins $5,000 Indigenous Voices AwardThe B.C. author, a retired bricklayer, drew on his childhood growing up on the Okanagan Indian reserve for his coming-of-age story set in 1956


Canadian-American Author Ruth Ozeki Wins Women’s Book Prize for “The Book of Form and Emptiness”The UK judges said her fourth novel, inspired in part by the Vancouver Public Library, contained "sparkling writing, warmth, intelligence, humour and poignancy."


The Bill Gates Summer Reading List Includes a Sci-Fi Novel On Gender Inequality Suggested by His DaughterBill Gates' summer reading list includes fiction and non-fiction titles that cover gender equality, political polarization and climate change.


American novelist Joshua Cohen wins the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for “The Netanyahus”The 2022 Pulitzer prizes include this satirical look at identity politics, focused on the father of former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at a crucial time in the Jewish state’s history


Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro Among Canadian Authors Recognized in Commemorative Reading List Marking Queen’s Platinum JubileeThe authors are among six Canadian scribes included on the The Big Jubilee Read list.


Queen Elizabeth II’s Aide Reveals Details of Life in Royal Pandemic Lockdown in New Addition to BookAngela Kelly, who's worked for the Queen for 20 years, discusses everything from cutting the Queen's hair to "the light and laughter that was shared ... even in the darkest moments."


New Leonard Cohen Story Collection, ‘A Ballet of Lepers,’ Set for October ReleaseThe collection features a novel, short stories and a radio play written between 1956 and 1961.


Archived Letters Reveal How Toni Morrison Helped MacKenzie Scott Meet Future Husband Jeff BezosBezos hired Scott at the hedge fund where he worked after receiving a recommendation from Morrison. Shortly thereafter, the pair married and Scott helped Bezos launch Amazon.


Prince Harry’s Memoir is Set to Rock the MonarchyFriends say the California-based royal got a million-pound book deal to write "an intimate take on his feeling about the family."


European Jewish Congress Asks Publisher to Pull Anne Frank BookThe Congress says 'The Betrayal of Anne Frank' has "deeply hurt the memory of Anne Frank, as well as the dignity of the survivors and the victims of the Holocaust."


Canadian Author Details Anne Frank Cold-Case Investigation That Named Surprise Suspect in Her Family’s Betrayal in New BookAhead of the 75th anniversary of the publication of Frank's 'The Diary of a Young Girl' in June, a team that included a retired FBI agent and around 20 historians, criminologists and data specialists identified a relatively unknown figure as a leading suspect in revealing her family's hideout.


Man Who Tricked Authors Into Handing Over Unpublished Manuscripts Arrested by FBI in New YorkFilippo Bernardini, an employee of a well known publication house, has been arrested for stealing hundreds of unpublished manuscripts.


Hollywood Legend Betty White Has a Last Laugh in New Biographic Comic BookThe creators of the biographical comic book have released similar books about Hollywood legends like Carrie Fisher, Lucille Ball, David Bowie and Elizabeth Taylor.


Barack Obama Reveals His List of Books That Left “A Lasting Impression” in 2021Obama's favourite 2021 reads include two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author Colson Whitehead's 'Harlem Shuffle' and 'Klara and the Sun,' by Nobel Prize-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro


“Interview With the Vampire” Author Anne Rice Dies at 80 — Tributes Pour in From Stuart Townsend and OthersThe author, who was best known for her work in gothic fiction, died on Saturday evening as a result of complications from a stroke.


Norma Dunning wins $25,000 Governor General’s English fiction prize for ‘Tainna’The Edmonton-based Inuk writer explores themes of displacement, loneliness and spirituality in six short stories


Omar El Akkad wins $100,000 Giller prize for “What Strange Paradise”The former Globe and Mail reporter, who published "American War" to acclaim in 2017, tackles the global migrant refugee crisis in his second novel


South African Author Damon Galgut Wins the Booker Prize For ‘The Promise’Galgut received nominations for his 2003 and 2010 works before finally taking home the prize this year. 


Hollywood Legend Paul Newman Discusses Life, Acting and Aging Gracefully in Newly Discovered MemoirPublishers of the newly discovered memoir say the Hollywood legend wrote the book in the 1980s in response to the relentless media attention he received during that time.


Here’s What You Need to Know About the Toronto International Festival of AuthorsDirector Roland Gulliver lands in Toronto to open his second, much-expanded virtual festival with more than 200 events


Tanzanian Novelist Gurnah Wins 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature for Depicting the Impact of Colonialism and Refugee StoriesGurnah, 72, is only the second writer from sub-Saharan Africa to win one of the world's most prestigious literary awards


Miriam Toews Garners Third Giller Prize Nomination for “Fight Night” after Shortlist AnnouncedSophomore efforts from novelists Omar El Akkad and Jordan Tannahill join debut books from Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia and Angélique Lalonde


Tina Brown’s New Book, ‘The Palace Papers’, Covers the Royal Family’s Reinvention After Diana’s Tragic DeathTina Brown's sequel to her 2007 release 'The Diana Chronicles' is set to hit shelves April 12, 2022. 


Audible.ca Releases Andrew Pyper’s Exclusive Audiobook “Oracle” For New Plus Catalogue LaunchThe thriller about a psychic FBI detective is one of 12,000 titles now available for free to members


Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen to Release Book Based On Their “Renegades” PodcastThe new book will feature a collection of candid, intimate and entertaining conversations


Prince Harry Will Publish a Memoir in Late 2022Harry says he's writing the book "not as the prince I was born but as the man I have become."


> STAY UP TO DATE

Sign Up for the Weekly Book Club Newsletter