She was a cartoon beach beauty. He was a tattooed drummer. As the story of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee’s stolen sex tape is turned into tense TV, we remember the events that changed celebrity culture for ever

By Christmas 1995, it was moderately common knowledge that a “sex tape” existed of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee, privately filmed on their honeymoon that year, after a whirlwind 96-hour romance. As the star of Baywatch, Anderson was so globally famous that other, also famous TV shows had storylines about her. Lee, the Mötley Crüe drummer, was also extremely well known, mainly as a sex, drugs and rock’n’roll poster boy, partly for mooning whenever he went on stage.

Their union, and its impact, was a molecular chemistry kind of affair; like oxygen and hydrogen, each, alone, was a powerful element, but combined they were altogether more culturally powerful – her eroticism slightly neutralised by marriage, his trouble-seeking rendered a bit safer beside her all-American (actually Canadian) smile.

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