‘Pam & Tommy‘ depicts the titular couple’s rocky affair, which is tainted by the theft and subsequent dissemination of a private film taken while on vacation.
The two celebrities are absolutely taken aback by how quickly the tape becomes viral, and no amount of money or connections can stop it.
In reality, they find themselves in front of a young, grinning entrepreneur named Seth Warshavsky in the season finale, who offers to buy the rights to the very personal tape from them.
Tommy almost punches Warshavsky in the episode, but Pamela appears to think the bargain is the best option given the circumstances.
We decided to examine whether Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee actually gave over the rights to their recording. If so, how much they were paid for it, because the show dramatises several aspects of what transpired in real life.
Have Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee Sold Their Tape Rights?
Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee, it turns out, did give Seth Warshavsky’s Internet Entertainment Group the rights to their private tape (IEG).
After a series of battles and litigation (against outlets such as Penthouse), the couple decided to sign.
They were apparently under the notion that allowing it to be streamed online would prevent the tape from being sold in stores. That was not the case, as it became clear very quickly.
It’s important mentioning that Anderson and Lee signed after IEG’s ClubLove website streamed the footage live for five hours on November 7, 1997, after a judge denied Warshavsky’s request for an injunction.
On November 25, 1997, the couple turned over the tape’s rights to IEG, maybe unaware that Derek Newman (Warshavsky’s lawyer) had drafted a fairly comprehensive release for the recording’s usage.
The video was soon available in retailers as actual VHS, CD-ROM, and DVD versions, in addition to being streamed online.
This was due to Warshavsky’s recent sale of the tape’s newly acquired rights to Vivid Entertainment for a reported $15 million.
Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee eventually signed away the rights to their (now) famous tape, evidently unaware of the extent to which it would spread.
Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee: How Much Did They Get Paid?
The cassette brought in millions of dollars through internet sales and physical copies sold in stores. It’s unclear whether the couple was compensated for signing away their rights or received a cut of the income later on.
In his book ‘Tommyland,’ which he co-wrote with Anthony Bozza, the singer says that Warshavsky initially offered them $250,000 for giving up the tape’s rights, which the celebrity couple apparently believed was a pittance.
When store copies of the tape became available, the couple publicly claimed that they had been misled and sued Warshavsky.
The case was decided in 2002, and Anderson and Lee were each awarded $740,000 by the judge. However, by that time, IEG had virtually vanished, and Warshavsky was in Bangkok, so the money was never delivered to the couple.
Anderson and Lee maintain that they never benefitted from their leaked audio, implying that they were never paid for it.
However, some argue that handing away the tape’s rights would have included a private arrangement in which the celebrity couple would have been rewarded.
All things considered, it appears that even if they did receive any type of reimbursement, it is unlikely to be comparable to the earnings that their pirated film has generated over the years.