Even as their marriage dissolves, actress Pamela Anderson Lee and her estranged husband, rock star Tommy Lee, may have become the world’s most-watched lovers.
The infamous hourlong videotape that graphically depicts the couple cavorting and having sex has been the object of world-wide voyeurism since it made its way into the public eye last year. But now it has also become the biggest-selling adult video in history, according to Seth Warshavsky, president of Internet Entertainment Group, the company that’s been hawking the home movie since November.
Warshavsky would not reveal exactly how many copies of the $39.95 video his Seattle-based company has sold. He said he based his estimate of bestsellership on data published by porn-industry magazine Adult Video News.
Despite the tape’s content, no love has been lost between the Lees and IEG, which have been embroiled in legal disputes for months. Both parties last week released copies of a settlement they’d signed in November: Warshavsky said the agreement and subsequent actions by the Lees and their attorneys prove that his company has the right to sell the sex tape all over the world and keep all the proceeds; the Lees said the agreement only granted IEG the right to show the tape on the Internet for a few hours last fall.
Now the Lees will try to wage a lawsuit against IEG in federal court, said their attorney Edward L. Masry.
The couple had already filed suit in state court, Masry said, though that action is being dismissed.
“The heart of the dispute between IEG and the Lees deals with that release,” said Masry. Lawyers disagree over the legal intent of the Lee/IEG agreement, he said.
Pamela Lee (“Baywatch,” “Barb Wire,”) insisted in a statement released Friday that she’ll pursue damages against IEG.
“I am confident that after you read the agreement you will agree with me and my staff that IEG should not be selling this tape,” she said in the statement. “There has been no settlement of this matter and I have received no monies of any kind for this tape.”
Warshavsky characterized the Lees’ attempts to challenge his right to sell their tape as a “fabrication.”
“These people obviously knew what they were agreeing to do,” Warshavsky said of the Lees in a statement released on his company’s sex-oriented Web site, http://www.clublove.com. “Furthermore, they have acknowledged our ongoing distribution of the videotape by approving press releases about it as required by the settlement agreement, and by backing off after we intercepted their attempt to stop another Web site that we had authorized to broadcast and distribute it.”