Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee’s sex tape was stolen by a disgruntled electrician after Tommy held him at gunpoint – he disguised himself as their dog, broke into their house and stole their safe
The infamous video, taken on their honeymoon in 1995, was intended for their eyes only.
Much to their devastation, it was stolen under bizarre circumstances and released to the public without their consent.
The strange story of how it was taken, and the dramatic lengths the couple went to in a bid to track down the perpetrator, only served to make the video even hotter property, piquing the curiosity of millions of people.
It all started when Baywatch actress Pamela and Motley Crue musician Tommy Lee tied the knot in Cancun, 96 hours after their first date.
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Madly in love, the pair embarked on a day of passion as they consummated their union, and decided to record it on a video tape which, back in the Cloudless nineties, meant it was stored in a physical form.
Soon after, they moved in together and locked the tape away in their garage.
Their new Malibu home needed renovating, and the celebrity couple hired a number of tradespeople for the various jobs that needed doing.
These workers allege that Pam and Tommy were a total nightmare, piling on ridiculous and impossible demands while sipping cocktails by the pool, and firing anyone they pleased.
This included an electrician named Rand Gauthier, who claimed Tommy held him at gunpoint and demanded he get off the property.
Gauthier was owed $20,000 for his work, but Tommy refused to pay up.
More furious about being threatened than the lost money, Gauthier concocted a plan to get revenge – he would break into the mansion and steal their guns and jewellery.
For months, he stalked the property, Gauthier told the Rolling Stone.
From his work on the house, he knew where the security cameras were and how to turn them off – and as he prepared to do so, he threw a Tibetan yak fur rug over himself to disguise him as the couple’s dog.
Having successfully broken in, Gauthier stole a safe from the garage which he presumed contained their prized possessions, and wheeled it out.
What he stumbled across shocked him, and after watching the sex tape from start to finish, he thought he’d struck gold.
Coincidentally, Gauthier worked in the porn industry and he knew the tape would be valuable, but without written consent from Pam and Tommy, his attempts to flog it failed.
So instead, they decided to use the internet, in its infancy at that point, where they could release the tape and remain anonymous.
They sold copies online to keen bidders, and when the tape was mentioned in a Daily Mail article several months later, the secret was out and the couple were made aware of how badly their privacy had been violated.
Desperate to find out who had betrayed them, Tommy hired a private investigator and even motorcycle gangs – but this only made people more interested to look up the tape, reported Elle.
The video was played on a loop in one adult entertainment site, and it was sold on VHS and DVD, raking in £56million in sales – not that Gauthier saw a penny.
Eventually, Pam and Tommy sued the video distribution company and received a confidential settlement agreement.
Pamela, who was seven months pregnant at the time, has spoken out against the tape’s release – and the 54-year-old has slammed the new Disney+ series recounting the dramatic story, which is released on Wednesday.
A source told ET Online: “Pamela has no regrets about her life.
“But the only thing she would probably erase is this burglary. She feels so violated to this day. It brings back a very painful time for her.”
Lily James, who plays Pamela, admitted she felt saddened by her condemnation of the show and says she reached out but no avail.
“I was really hopeful that she would be involved. I wish it had been different,” she told Porter.
“My sole intention was to take care of the story and to play Pamela authentically.”
But Tommy, 59, doesn’t share the same sentiment.
“Tommy feels fine about the series coming out and is excited to see it,” said an insider.
“He still doesn’t understand how this incident impacts Pamela differently from himself.”
According to Digital Spy, Gauthier is now 65 and lives in California, having returned to work as an electrician.
He’s proud of his contribution to such a fascinating story and has no regrets, though he admits he was on “the lowest point on the totem pole” in terms of cashing in.
Speaking about the tape, he told Rolling Stone: “It was cute. They’re in love and a couple and they’re just having fun with each other, and I think that’s great.
“I’m jealous. I wish I had something like that.”
He added that he sometimes tries to tell people he was responsible for releasing Pam and Tommy’s sex tape – but no one ever believes him.
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