Sex Tape Of Pamela Anderson And Tommy Lee, The First Viral Internet Pornography

01/12/1997

In the 1990s, the internet was relatively young for most people on Earth.

Google wasn't there, and the internet was still relying on internet directories, with Yahoo! sitting at the peak, and discussion forums that were flourishing quite rapidly.

During those years, at the pinnacles of the media, included Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee.

Pamela is best known for her 22-years-career being a Playmate at Playboy. She has also appeared on more Playboy covers than any other model. It was then her action-drama series Baywatch, which cemented her status as a sex symbol. Tommy Lee on the other hand, is known as the drummer for heavy metal outfit Mötley Crüe.

The two made headlines after famously married in 1995 after knowing each other for less than a week.

If this only was not enough to put their names up on the young internet, their sex tapes did.

When their honeymoon sex tape leaked, it quickly became the first sex tape to have disrupted the internet, and became the first prime example of viral internet pornography.

It was like the 90s' 1 Night in Paris, and Kim Kardashian, Superstar.

Further reading: The Leaked Iranian Sex Tape Scandal That Ended Zahra Amir Ebrahimi's Career

Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee
Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee were a power couple back in the 1990s.

It started a few years prior, when the Lees' sex tape was stolen from their home in 1995.

At that time, Tommy was doing some work done at his home, and Rand Gauthier, a former porn star, was also there. It was him who found the sex tape, stole it, and then sold it to the Internet Entertainment Group, or IEG.

When Pamela realized this, it was her who started suing the video distribution company.

But IEG declined to stop the distribution of the tape, mainly because it had obtained a copy of the video by purchasing it.

The Lees then tried to bar distribution of the video on IEG, and tried to stop, or at least suppress the video from being shown on various websites, and they have been doing this for months after knowing that their sex tape was leaking.

However, a California State Superior Court denied the request for a temporary restraining order.

Following this, IEG started making the sex tape public on its websites.

The 39-minute video included scenes from the couple's wedding ceremony, and a "wild and sex-filled" boat trip on Lake Mead in Nevada, among other scenes, according to IEG.

In just five hours, the traffic to its websites were tripled.

It should be noted that at this time, most people were still using dial up modems with speed of only 56 kbit/s.

The company however, then agreed to put down the video, when both sides decided to use an arbitrator.

It was only later that the IEG said it has entered into an agreement with the Lees about the video.

Following this, the case was dropped.

This happened as both Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee stopped preventing its distribution through arbitration. This was announced by the couple on December 1, 1997.

Following this, after it reached an agreement with Pamela and Tommy, IEG said that it began making the tape available to subscribers to its websites. The company said terms of the agreement are confidential.

"In order to protect what privacy they have left, the Lees have entered into a confidential settlement agreement with IEG," said Marleah Leslie, a spokeswoman for the couple, in a statement.

"I am prohibited from discussing the terms of the agreement. The Lees have never intended to profit nor have they profited from the stolen tape and are sick about the whole situation."

Since the interest was high, the tape again raised wider legal issues, with many suggesting whether the distribution of the tape would violate the couple's right to privacy.

IEG argued.

Read: Female Officer Arrested Gang Leader, Gang Members Responded By Leaking Her Personal Photos

Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee
A screenshot of the sex tape of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee.

The company said that the two celebrities simply forfeited their privacy rights by just publicly talking about the video. Some skeptics however, saw this as a publicity stunt.

"We were happy to have an arbitrator decide the issue," said Seth Warshavsky, president of IEG.

"We noticed the depositions of the Lees' associates and former intimates and were prepared to ask them questions about their relationships with the couple. Before we could begin the depositions, we reached a settlement with the Lees, the term of which must remain confidential."

It should be noted that the sex tape of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee was not Pamela's first.

Previously, she had another sex tape she made with Bret Michaels, the musician from Poison. But this sex tape was not announced, nor published, before her sex tape with Tommy was leaked.

Pamela and Tommy ended their marriage in 1998, when Tommy landed in jail after physically assaulting Pamela. They were then in on and off relationships until at least 2008.

Shortly after this, a sex tape from South Korea's beauty pageant also made headlines, as it leaked to the internet through file-sharing websites.

Further reading: The Leaked Sex Tape Of Hoàng Thùy Linh, The Biggest Scandal In Vietnam