The Happy Days star was linked to a slew of models and actresses in his heartthrob heyday—a pattern that was examined more closely in his reality series Scott Baio Is 45... and Single—and he dated Pamela Anderson right after she was named Playboy's Playmate of the Month for February 1990. They met at the Playboy Mansion, in fact, and Anderson's first-ever acting credit is a guest spot on Charles in Charge.
"I once told somebody I thought there was just one hard, fast rule in Hollywood—and that was if you were blonde, first you date Scott Baio and then you marry Tommy Lee," Charles in Charge co-star Willie Ames quipped in a 2008 A&E Biography episode on Baio.
But first, a little Poison. Anderson's first major romance with a rocker was in the 1993-1994 realm when she met Michaels—and he really tried to get in good with the whole family.
"One of her mom's favorite bands was the Beach Boys, so I called up John Stamos, who played drums occasionally for the band," he told Blender in 2009. "I said, 'John, can you put the mom on the side of the stage?' So he does—they even let her go out and sing with the Beach Boys. The next day, Pamela goes, 'My mom really doesn't like you very much.' I'm thinking, 'What the f--k?' The mom really didn't like the rocker thing or the way I looked—Pamela had never dated a rocker before. I think that played a big part in the relationship."
If Pam's mom only knew how thorny that rose could get...
Anderson briefly lived with the prolific producer of films such as Caddyshack, The Color Purple and A Star Is Born in the 1990s and they remained close friends.
Sure enough, some years after dating Baio, the Baywatch star married Motley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee on Feb. 16, 1995. We'd delve into their courtship, but they only met at a Beverly Hills club four days before saying "I do" on the beach in Cancun, the bride in a white bikini. Their love story was so much of a whirlwind, the groom's previous paramour learned it was over for good when she heard about his nuptials on the news. Anderson had "TOMMY" inked on her ring finger upon their return to L.A.
The highlights of their passionate but destructive three-year marriage, which was Lee's third, are easily their two sons, Brandon Thomas Lee, born June 5, 1996, and Dylan Jagger Lee, born Dec. 29, 1997. Lowlights include Lee's arrest for spousal battery and subsequent six-month jail sentence and Anderson's 2002 revelation that she had contracted hepatitis C from sharing tattoo needles with her husband. (In 2015, she said they were both free of the disease after undergoing treatment.)
"I picked her up many times from her lawyer's office and flew her up with her kids and hid her out in Aspen for a month because the guy was beating her up," Peters recalled to The Hollywood Reporter in 2018, referring to her tumultuous time with Lee. "But she made it through. She raised the kids. She's got money. She's got a career."
And, of course, there was the infamous sex tape, recorded early in their union on a houseboat during an excursion to Lake Mead, that was stolen from their Malibu home and leaked into the world, prompting prudish calls for Baywatch's cancellation but at the same time attracting its biggest-ever audience.
"We filmed everything… we were naked all the time," Anderson recalled on Piers Morgan's Life Stories in 2018. In the 2001 Motley Crüe biography The Dirt, Lee lamented, "Pamela and I got busy having kids so quickly that we never gave ourselves a chance to build a solid relationship. I asked her much later, 'Why didn't we work on our relationship more?' 'We couldn't,' she replied. 'I was pregnant the whole time.'"
Not to mention tangled up in litigation, the couple filing a $10 million lawsuit in 1996 to stop others profiting from distribution of the tape, which they had stashed in a safe and didn't even know was missing until the previous Christmas. But, hard copies of the home movie having already penetrated the public sphere to such a degree and Penthouse having reported on all the details, they eventually signed the copyright over in 1997.
They continued to see each other after she filed for divorce in 1998, their physical attraction never being the issue. They talked of remarrying, but by 2000 had settled into seeing (and getting engaged to) other people.
In The Dirt, Lee recalled finding out while he was in jail that Anderson was dating her old Baywatch co-star Kelly Slater, who was part of the cast from 1992 to 1993.
"I learned a lot," the world champion surfer demurely reflected to Metro News in 2011. "I don't have any ill feelings toward her. I wish her well. Hey, we had an amazing time together."
After splitting up with Lee (again), Anderson dated the Calvin Klein model for the last half of 2000, reportedly after swooning seeing him rescue a bird who had fallen into a Monaco toilet. They shot an ad campaign for Iceberg clothing and he guest-starred on her show V.I.P. before they called it quits.
Anderson boarded the Kid Rock roller coaster in 2001 and their first engagement was announced in April 2002 after the "Bawitdaba" singer popped the question in Las Vegas.
A month beforehand, in an appearance on the KTLA Morning News that followed Anderson's announcement about having hepatitis C, Kid Rock, whose real name is Robert Ritchie, said he had no idea.
"I was with her last night and she didn't really release that statement to me or say anything about it. She's fine," the musician said. "There's so much going on with the situation she's in that I really don't want to talk about. I think a lot of people try to say things that are very hurtful."
Anderson got off the ride in 2003.
In 2005, Lee told People, "We're crazy in love. We're going to take things slowly and see where they go."
But in 2006, Anderson was back on the Kid Rock train, the two of them embarking on a raucous wedding parade, tying the knot four times. In November of that year, however, the V.I.P. star confirmed that she had suffered a miscarriage a few weeks after finding out she was pregnant.
That same month, she filed for divorce after four months of holy matrimony, citing irreconcilable differences. "I'm moving on. … I feel like I'm finally free. … I'm in love. I'm happy. … I see the light. … Sounds dramatic, but it's true," she shared on her website.
And they never spoke again after that was settled in 2007.
"He's the only person I don't talk to," Anderson told Elle in 2014. "We blew it, and the kids suffered."
On CBS Sunday Morning in 2012, Kid Rock said he "wouldn't have gone in like that" if he didn't think their marriage could've gone the distance. But he had since learned that "if you touch a hot stove and get burnt, don't touch it anymore." With Anderson, he explained, he had taken "both hands and held 'em there for, like, an hour. I don't even go near the stove anymore!"
Though it seems as though they would've had their share of issues anyway, legend has it that their marriage was never the same after Anderson was carried away by Sacha Baron Cohen, who seems to enjoy crediting the actress' cameo in 2006's Borat, in which the uncouth Kazakh tries to literally take her as his bride, for the hasty end to her and Kid Rock's union.
After the divorce filing, a source told the New York Post that her husband had grown incensed watching that scene at a screening and yelled at her in front of everybody, "saying she had humiliated herself and telling her, 'You're nothing but a whore! You're a slut! How could you do that movie?'" The source continued, "Pam thought he could have a sense of humor about the movie. She was in on the gag from the very beginning and loved doing the movie. And on the eve of what was supposed to be a very positive thing, he made it an awful night."
In 2019, Cohen said on the Daily Beast's The Last Laugh podcast that, as far as he knew, that was true. He texted Anderson after the screening to ask her how it went, he said, and she replied, "'He's getting divorced.' I was like, 'why?' And she goes, 'The movie.'
"And I thought it was a joke," the British actor recalled, "but then a few weeks later they got divorced and they put as a reason for divorce, Borat."
Anderson got right back into the game, however, marrying professional poker player Rick Salomon—who had previously been married to Shannen Doherty but who was far more notorious for co-starring in Paris Hilton's sex tape—in 2007.
Before they could get too far into the weeds with that, the union was annulled after five months, so though there was a quickie wedding the transaction counts as neither a marriage nor a divorce.
"He was just always there, and I was like, you're always here," Anderson recalled to Elle of the decision to just marry him one night in Vegas in between shows at Planet Hollywood serving as Dutch illusionist Hans Klok's assistant.
Definitely longtime friends, they were rumored to have been more—but the comedy Casanova (who did date Tommy Lee's second wife, Heather Locklear) has been the subject of many a tall tale. For instance, Carmen Electra, also of Baywatch fame, has denied Spade's slot on her romantic-history timeline.
"David Spade is on there and that's not true," Electra told Hollywood Life, having a good laugh, in 2016. "Kid Rock is not true. I met him, we shook hands, it was nice. Colin Farrell was on there—I WISH that was true!"
Almost always in the wings, however, was Lee. The 1990s-era wild ones gave it another go in 2008, with Lee telling Rolling Stone, "Pamela and the kids have moved in with me. It's awesome, man. It's definitely working. You can tell on the kids' faces—they're happy when we're together."
That arrangement lasted until 2010, when they split up for good. The musician went on to date singer Sofia Toufa and then Vine star Brittany Furlan, whom he married in 2019.
Asked about their intense love affair that, even when factoring in her other relationships, lasted for the better part of 15 years, Anderson told People in 2015, "There was Tommy and then there was nobody else. He was the love of my life. We had a wild and crazy beginnings that was too much for both of us." But, she continued, "It really was love at first sight," and their kids were "grateful to be born out of true love. Everything else I was trying to piece together."
She and Lee were "good friends," she stressed, and and were getting better at co-parenting after their nasty custody battle of the early '00s. "He's such a supporter of mine and I'm really happy we're on such great terms...There's a connection there that will always be."
Talking to Elle about what a weird move it was to marry Salomon back in 2007, she said, "Yeah, at that time it was a bad idea. But I love Rick. I love him to this day. And my kids love Rick. Out of everybody I know—as crazy as he is—I trust him the most." (In 2013 she had told Ellen DeGeneres they were "friends with benefits.")
So much so, that she had married him again by the time the article was published in March 2014. She filed for divorce that July, though—but then pulled the petition a month later.
"It's a real marriage. It has its ups and downs," she told People in September 2014. "I think we're doing fine." Anderson filed for divorce again in February 2015, and that time it was for good.
Anderson, who visited the Kremlin in 2015 to discuss wildlife protections with Putin's chief of staff, didn't flat deny in her 2018 sit-down with Piers Morgan that she and the divorced Russian president may have had a bit of a thing.
"I wrote to [Putin] and asked him to stop the importation of seal products," she said, giggling. "So he did. He made it actually illegal to import seal products into the country."
As Morgan pressed her to confirm whether she'd actually spent time with the autocrat in person, she said vaguely, "Obviously we've been in the same place together, uh, sometime." But she insisted, "Lets not go any further with this one."
Whether or not they ever moved past the dear friends stage, considering the WikiLeaks founder was holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London the whole time to avoid being arrested, Anderson was entirely inspired by the polarizing Australian.
"We talk about everything," she told The Hollywood Reporter in 2018. "We talk about the Bible, we talk about what's happening with my kids, what's happening with his family. It's not just about politics, even though I do take a lot of notes and it's so overwhelming, the information he gives me."
After spending seven years at the embassy, Assange was arrested in April 2019 and remains locked up in a London prison. Anderson visited him behind bars and remained one of his most outspoken champions, saying on The View five months later, "His health is really deteriorating. He has lost about 30 pounds I think since I saw him, and he was thin at that point."
Talking about the ongoing quest to prosecute the publisher, who to some is a hero and to others a criminal, guilty of espionage against the U.S., Anderson said, "There was no surprises. It is devastating that people have fallen for this smear campaign, especially in America....I almost feel like an outsider looking in, looking at how America has embraced all...this propaganda. It's really frustrating, but I just hope that he doesn't get extradited. I don't think he'll make it."
In 2020 Assange's lawyer, Stella Moris-Smith Robertson, revealed she's had two children with him since their relationship turned romantic in 2015. She continues to work toward securing his release. Asked how she felt about the high-profile female visitors he had during that time, she told The Australian, "I'd rather have them reporting about Pamela visiting than stories about me being pregnant. And it allowed Pamela to go on TV and she is very articulate."
She may have been publicly supporting Assange, but in 2018 the 50-year-old was living with 32-year-old French soccer player Adil Rami in Marseille.
"He's not a part of that [celebrity world]," she told The Hollywood Reporter of the athlete, whom she met in Saint-Tropez in 2017. "That's the best part."
Talking to Piers Morgan she called Rami "fantastic," but in June 2019 she took to Instagram to share that it was all over—and how.
"It's hard to accept," she captioned a photo of the two of them. "The last (more than) two years of my life have been a big lie." Anderson proceeded to write that she had been "scammed" and that, while he would joke about other footballers having women on the side, he too was "living a double life."
"He called those men monsters," she wrote. "But this is worse. He lied to all."
In his own post, Rami protested that he maintained a relationship with the mother of his two children, Sidonie Biemont, but there was no gross deception on his end. "A break is never really easy," he wrote in French, per ETOnline. "Often in these situations, emotion can take over and we let it express excessively. Pamela is someone whole, who I respect, who has convictions and who is sincere in her struggles and for whom my love was always sincere... At no point did I live a double life, I am simply determined to preserve a lasting relationship with my children and their mother, Sidonie, for whom I have a deep respect. It's true that I should have being more transparent in this relationship. I take responsibility."
Peters came back into the picture in a surprising way in January 2020. Talking about her 12-day union with the producer, whom she'd considered a friend for 30 years, Anderson acknowledged it happened on a whim when she was caught up in a spiritual moment—and that it wasn't official.
"I was in India and I went to this panchakarma cleanse, and I'd been gone for three weeks in this ayurvedic center, meditating, just so clear," she told The New York Times in May 2020. "I came back and VWOOM, within 24 hours, I saw Jon. It was like this little whirlwind thing, and it was over really quick, and it was nothing. Nothing physical. It's just a friendship."
"We're all wounded people," added the veteran celebrity, who in recent years has opened up about suffering traumatic sexual abuse as a child, including being raped at 12. "And I'm a big believer in fate, destiny, all those crazy things. So I just—there's something about knowing somebody for so long and thinking, 'Oh!' It's—no hearts were broken. I don't know what his intentions were. And it's almost like I don't even want to think about it too much because it'd be probably too hurtful."
Page Six reported that Peters informed the site in an email that he paid off almost $200,000 in bills for her during their brief time together, but he later denied commenting on the matter, telling the Ladysmith Chemainus Chronicle, "I haven't spoken to the press—nobody. I've loved this kid since she was 20 years old. I still love her. We're friends. We'll always be friends. I helped her in a way that she needed, but it's between her and I. I think she's great, and that's all I got to say."
Anderson also told the Chronicle, "I don't need anyone to pay my bills," but confirmed he wrote her a check for $100,000 when they parted ways, money she put right into her home renovation in Ladysmith, a town on the eastern coast of Vancouver Island.
"I hope he's doing OK, actually, during this whole crisis," she told the Times, referring to the COVID-19 pandemic, "because I want to make sure he's healthy and... But I'm not in touch with him." Asked if she could see herself getting married again, Anderson, clarifying that she had only been married three times (to Tommy, "Bob," and Rick), replied, "Absolutely! Just one more time. Just one more time, please, God. One more time only. Only!"
Apparently feeling quite safe and protected, Anderson married her bodyguard on Dec. 24, 2020, at her house on Vancouver Island. The pair had grown closer while socially distancing from others during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Pamela is over the moon and feels more at home than ever before," a source told E! News about the nuptials. "This is really such a full-circle moment and return to her roots. They are actually both natives to Vancouver Island. They are splitting their time between Malibu and her family home in Vancouver. Spending time during quarantine has been cathartic for them both."
On Jan. 20, 2022, E! News confirmed the pair had separated. "When you live with someone and spend all this time with them, for the better part of two years, you get to really know them inside and out, for better and for worse," said a source close to the pair. "There was no straw that broke the camel's back. He is not the man she hoped he was."