• Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
Pamela Anderson is talking a timeout from Hollywood to wage a potentially life-saving battle against hepatitis C.

The 35-year-old curvaceous Canadian revealed in March that she had been infected with the virus, which can cause fatal liver damage, blaming ex-husband Tommy Lee. Anderson claimed she contracted the virus after sharing a tattoo needle with Lee--allegations the former Mötley Crüe drummer denied.

In an interview Tuesday night on CNN's Larry King Live, Anderson said she would put her career on hold to begin the often difficult treatment, in which she'll have to inject herself with a powerful antiviral drug up to three times a week.

"There's lots of side effects...It's going to be a year of basically having the flu. Your hair falls out. It's a little kind of chemotherapy," Anderson explained.

"I want to do it for my kids, because I don't want to die, basically." she said.

Although hepatitis C has no cure, doctors prescribe injections of antiviral drugs like interferon and ribivirin to keep the virus in check and prevent further liver damage. If left untreated, hepatitis C can cause cirrhosis, liver cancer or liver failure.

Watch E! News Live
weeknights at 6:30 p.m.
for all late-breaking developments...

Only on E!
> Anderson said a biopsy showed her liver was still healthy. She told King she plans on beginning her treatment in December.

Last month, producers pulled the plug on Anderson's syndicated action series V.I.P., citing cash-flow problems. At the time, however, Anderson hinted that there was more to the cancellation. "Due to a multitude of issues--some personal--we have decided to all move on from V.I.P.," she said. Her hepatitis apparently figured prominently among those personal issues.

Her treatment should not affect her current gig--voicing the titular character in Stripperella, Stan Lee's upcoming animated series for TNN set to debut later this year. She also has a monthly column called "Pam, Honestly" in Jane magazine that begins with the August issue.

During her sit-down with King Tuesday, Anderson also seemed to suggest her health problems and family concerns were sidetracking her relationship with Kid Rock. The couple announced their engagement in April, but the nuptial planning is now on the back burner.

"I could say right now we're in the trenches. We're just working on things," she said. "We love each other very much but it's a difficult life, a difficult life. And I want what's best for my kids. And he has a son."

"I need to resolve a lot of issues...before I can really move on and have another serious commitment," she said.

Aside from her illness, Anderson remains engaged in a heated custody battle with Lee over the custody of their sons, Brandon, 6, and Dylan, 4. The famously videotaped couple called it quits two years ago.

"[The boys] never had a relationship with their father since they were born. They've always been afraid of their father, and their father has had no contact, really, with them," Anderson said.

As for Lee, Anderson said he was "in denial" about having hepatitis C.

Through his publicist, Lee said, "I believe that Ms. Anderson's appearance on Larry King Live, and all of the statements that she made on that show, was a clear attempt to garner attention for her new column set to appear in Jane magazine.

"I am extremely concerned that she is using our children and our long-ended relationship to garner attention to her public career," he continued.

"I love my children and for that reason alone, I stand by my prior statements over the past year that I refuse to drag them into a public battle that should be and is being sorted out privately through the courts."