Pamela Anderson writes about a tense event that she claims happened in 1991 while working on the comedy Home Improvement with Tim Allen. Anderson’s new memoir, Love, Pamela, is available now.
Pamela Anderson, who was 23 then and had made two previous appearances in Playboy, made her acting debut in a two-season recurring role alongside Allen, who was 14 years her senior.
“On the first day of filming, I walked out of my dressing room, and Tim was in the hallway in his robe,” Anderson writes in the HarperCollins memoir. “He opened his robe and flashed me quickly—completely naked underneath. He said it was only fair because he had seen me naked. Now we’re even. I laughed uncomfortably.”
In an email to Vanity Fair, Tim Allen denied the allegation via his publicist, saying, “No, it never happened. I would never do such a thing.” In a separate statement shared exclusively with Vanity Fair, Anderson expands on her account, insisting the incident occurred.
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“This true story is just one of many surreal and uncomfortable situations I learned to navigate,” Anderson writes. “My book goes into how it made me feel throughout my life and, in this case, my career. I have no ill will toward Tim. But like the rest, it should never have happened.”
“It was the first of many weird experiences where individuals believed they knew me well enough to make absolute fools of themselves,” Anderson continues in her autobiography. “Here you go, Tim,” she says, “was my only line in every episode, and when they expanded my part, it was Here you go, Tim. Enjoy your day. Anderson finally left Home Improvement to concentrate on Baywatch, even though Baywatch, in her opinion, earned less. She writes that I ultimately decided on a career based on my quality of life.
Soon after returning to her native Ladysmith, Canada, Anderson started writing the memoir that would eventually become it. An episode of Anderson’s story from the infamous stolen tape she made with her first husband, Tommy Lee, was purportedly told in the Hulu TV series Pam & Tommy last year. However, it was produced without Anderson’s knowledge or consent. According to Anderson, who recently spoke to The New York Times, the memoir offers a complete chronicle of her life from “beginning to end, my first memory to my last.” The first project she had total control over, she claimed: “I felt I needed to convey my tale. And I had no choice but to handle it myself.
The memoir, which will be published on January 31, details Anderson’s humble upbringing in Canada, where she claims she experienced sexual abuse as a child and adolescent, as well as her career as a model for Playboy and the star of Baywatch. This television show catapulted her to international fame. For the first time, she goes into great detail about the psychological pain caused by having her and Lee’s home movies stolen and sold to the public for profit. She also talks about her motherhood and marriage.
Pamela, a Love Story, a documentary coproduced by her son Brandon Lee, will be available on Netflix on January 31 in addition to the memoir. The documentary, directed by Emmy-nominated director Ryan White (The Case Against 8, The Keepers), takes audiences inside Anderson’s life in Ladysmith as she muses on her experiences as a misunderstood actress, mother, and spouse.
Anderson’s sons Brandon, 26, and Dylan, 25, were instrumental in persuading Anderson “to share her tale on her terms,” according to White in an interview with VF. They admire their mother and find it disgusting when others tell her narrative in a way that doesn’t seem to be true to who she is. Pamela is a sincere and open person by nature. That may be why Pamela has had so many burns throughout her life, but I also believe it makes her endearing and contagious.
In an email to VF, Anderson gave her reasons for being prepared to write a memoir and a documentary about her life, including the stolen footage, and share it with a public who she believes already knows her tale.
“Nobody knew the truth—even I don’t know 100% of what happened,” wrote Anderson. “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.”