It was a couple of months before they met again, with Tommy following Pamela to Cancún in Mexico, where she was working on a photoshoot. After four days in the definition of a whirlwind romance, they got married there and then on the beach. Tommy would later recall that on their way back to the U.S. his new wife was asking him questions like where he lived and what he liked to eat for breakfast.
From the outside it might not have looked like a marriage with the strongest of foundations, but both parties have spoken about how happy and in love they were. The couple suffered a miscarriage in the summer of ’95 but their relationship seemed strong. Pamela even once threw a reported $300,000 surprise party for her hubby’s 33rd birthday, complete with a miniature carnival village called Tommyland with tigers and contortionists, while members of Mötley Crüe and Guns N’ Roses jammed onstage. They were also working on their dream home in Malibu, which involved some major refurbishments.
It was only in 1996 that Pamela and Tommy became sickeningly aware that a tape featuring them having sex was publicly available, and that porn magazine Penthouse was running a story on it. The 54-minute video actually contained lots of sweet private moments between the two, but it also had footage of them having sex. And, of course, that was what made the headlines and fuelled a brisk trade for the tape via VHS cassettes.
The tape had been stored in a hidden safe in Tommy and Pamela’s Malibu home, and was stolen by an electrician working on the renovations. According to an interview that Rand Gauthier gave to Rolling Stone in 2014, Tommy had threatened the tradesman with a shotgun when he had gone back to the house to retrieve tools. This angered Rand, who hatched a plan to rob the safe, which he believed to contain jewellery and guns. He also claims to have scaled the property’s fence with a yak fur strapped to his back so he would look like the couple’s pet dog on CCTV.
However he committed the heist, the tape was sold on and distributed via a number of shady websites. With the internet still in its infancy, these sites were not actually hosting the footage but acted like a shop window, providing instructions for people to buy a physical copy. Tommy and Pamela would later sue Internet Entertainment Group (IEG), one of the companies selling the video. "In order to protect what privacy they have left, the Lees have entered into a confidential settlement agreement with IEG," a spokesperson said at the time. “The Lees have never intended to profit nor have they profited from the stolen tape and are sick about the whole situation."