Just as it’s hard to imagine what life was like before the Internet, it’s hard to imagine what the Internet was like before it was full of celebrity sex tapes. In 1997, IEG Entertainment offered the world downloadable copies of Baywatch bombshell Pamela Anderson and Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee celebrating their whirlwind 1995 marriage in a series of enthusiastic, onscreen sexual encounters.
As a nation marveled at the larger-than-life pairs that God and plastic surgeons had given the larger-than-life pair, a sleazy precedent was created: from that day forward, no celebrity’s PC or cell phone would be safe from hump-hungry hackers. And for all their outrage and legal action against those who profited from their purloined sexploits, no one benefited more from the tape’s release than Pam and Tom, whose name recognition skyrocketed in the months to come. Eventually, enterprising entertainers like Dustin Diamond and Chyna would actually provide their own erotic home videos to producers, in hopes of similarly profiting from a complete loss of dignity.
Celebrity-sex-tape culture has become so prevalent that Anderson went on to marry both Rick Salomon and Kid Rock, who appeared in pornographic romps of their own, with Paris Hilton and Creed’s Scott Stapp, respectively. Sounds like Pam has a type.