Pam Anderson and Tommy Lee put in the work--and now they're gonna get paid.
A federal judge has ruled the ex-fun couple are owed nearly $1.5 million (or, $740,000 a piece) in profits from an adult Website company that hawked their bedroom and boat-going exploits in a world-infamous sex tape.
There has been no reaction to the victory Tuesday from Anderson's manager or Lee's legal rep, respectively. An attempt to reach the Website company, Internet Entertainment Group, proved unsuccessful, which is pretty much why the site lost the case in the first place.
The judge ruled IEG defaulted the case by never appearing in court.
According to a June edition of the Seattle Weekly, IEG founder Seth Warshavsky, who in headier days was alternately described as "the Bob Guccione of the '90s" and "the Bill Gates of porn," was last seen by a doorman carrying computers out of his condo, reportedly headed for Thailand.
Reports say the troubled IEG, beset by creditors, sold off its assets, including its infamous ClubLove.com Website, to a California company called Awesome Entertainment. An email sent Tuesday to the still existing (and still Anderson and Lee-hawking) ClubLove site seeking a comment garnered no response.
The court ruling, handed down last week, but made public only this week, ends a five-year battle that started so long ago Anderson and Lee were an old married couple, and IEG was a reputed $500 million booming business.
It was in 1997 that IEG posted the couple's camcordered account of their honeymoon on its X-rated ClubLove site, trumping a restraining-order request filed by the tape's reluctant stars.
Anderson, now 35, and Lee, 40, alleged the videotape was stolen by a construction worker from their Malibu home in 1995. Over the years, the erstwhile Baywatch babe and the on-again, off-again Mötley Crüe rocker repeatedly sought to keep the footage private, and repeatedly they lost. Penthouse published stills from the tape in June 1996. IEG followed with the downloadable version a year later. The company also sold a home-video version, which, at $15 a pop, quickly became the bestselling adult flick of all time.
ClubLove touted the video with liberal use of the phrases, "very explicit XXX" and "wild sex." Failing to note the tape's notoriously tedious interludes, ClubLove instead emphasized the parts where Anderson and Lee "perform oral sex, intercourse and other intimate actions."
Anderson and Lee filed a $90 million copyright-infringement suit against IEG in 1998, upset at being cut out of the video profits. U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson tossed the case, ruling that the duo gave up their rights when they agreed to let IEG Webcast the footage. An appeals court later reinstated the couple's lawsuit.
In the end, it was Pregerson who ruled in Anderson and Lee's favor. In addition to the $1,481,786 judgment, Pregerson ordered IEG to cover the couple's court costs and attorney fees.
It now appears Anderson, who settled with IEG last year over her sex tape costarring Poison rocker Bret Michaels, and Lee will have to get in line in order to collect from IEG.
According to the business profile site Hoover's Online, Warshavsky left IEG's onetime Seattle digs with "creditors, lawyers and unpaid former employees at his heels."
Anderson and Lee, who ended their tumultuous three-year marriage in 1998, were last seen ending their tumultuous custody battle, agreeing to joint custody of their two sons.