By Anita Tai.

Pamela Anderson never planned to tell her story.

The actress was the subject of Hulu’s series “Pam & Tommy”, which focused on a painful chapter of her past involving stolen intimate tapes from her and then-partner Tommy Lee — but she wasn’t consulted at all in its retelling.

It’s part of why the actress teamed up with Netflix and director Ryan White for her documentary “Pamela, a love story”, where she could take control of her own narrative. She didn’t initially plan to tell her story, but her 26-year-old son Brandon convinced her to reclaim the narrative, along with her 24-year-old Dylan.

“Brandon can talk me into anything with his sincere heart and a fierceness that only a son could have,” she told Vanity Fair in an e-mail. “He wanted to tell my story, authentically and without distortion.”


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The director added that Anderson’s sons wanted her “to tell her story on her own terms. They adore their mother and really hate seeing her story being told by other people in a way that they don’t feel is authentic to who she is. Pamela, by nature, is an incredibly open and honest person. That’s perhaps why Pamela’s gotten burned a lot in her life, but I also think it’s what’s so lovable and infectious about her.”

A scene from Pamela Anderson’s upcoming Netflix documentary, “Pamela, a love story”.
A scene from Pamela Anderson’s upcoming Netflix documentary, “Pamela, a love story”.
— Photo: Netflix

During filming for her documentary, she learned the subject matter of Hulu’s series would focus on one of the most traumatic moments of her life, and she decided she would finally open up about the subject on her own terms.

“Nobody knew the truth — even I don’t know 100% of what happened, but I think what is most important is to share my human feelings and how much it hurt and how it undeniably defined me moving forward — in my career and my relationships,” she shared.

Speaking on working with Anderson to detail this painful part of her past, White said it led to some very powerful and emotional scenes for the film.

“The infamous stolen tape, which we’re always very careful to call ‘the stolen tape’ and not ‘sex tape,’ was just one of hundreds of hours that [Anderson and Lee] filmed,” he explained. “There’s no calculation with how [Anderson] thinks about these types of things. It’s all just about being raw and honest, for better or worse. It made for a really emotional film and I’m really grateful that I got to work with someone like that.”

A scene from Pamela Anderson’s upcoming Netflix documentary, “Pamela, a love story”.
A scene from Pamela Anderson’s upcoming Netflix documentary, “Pamela, a love story”.
— Photo: Netflix


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White also promised that while the documentary would delve into her life and career, it was also at heart a love story for the self-described hopeless romantic Anderson.

“You can’t discount Pamela. She’s been discounted her whole life and she totally pulled it off,” said White. “The film is called ‘Pamela, a love story’, and there are many love stories within it. Ultimately I think the end of the film is about her putting more of that love into herself.”

“Pamela, a love story” is set to come out on Jan. 31 at the same time as the actress’ memoir of the same name.

“Writing my book was therapy,” Anderson added. “The documentary I haven’t seen, and I have no intention of seeing. I gave full access to my archives and diaries, and I hope that through full transparency, it makes sense to somebody.”





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Ellen Bullock