Pamela Lee drops video case

Tommy and Pamela Anderson Lee drop their attempt to bar through arbitration the distribution of a sexually explicit video of them.

Jeff Pelline Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Jeff Pelline is editor of CNET News.com. Jeff promises to buy a Toyota Prius once hybrid cars are allowed in the carpool lane with solo drivers.
Jeff Pelline
2 min read
The much-discussed, sexually intimate video of Pamela Anderson Lee and her husband is back on the Net after the two dropped their attempt to bar its distribution through arbitration, it was announced today.

Internet Entertainment Group, or IEG, said it began making the tape available to subscribers to its Web sites after it reached an agreement with Lee and her husband, Tommy. The company said terms of the agreement are confidential.

The 39-minute video includes scenes from the couple's wedding ceremony and a "wild and sex-filled" boat trip on Lake Mead in Nevada, among other scenes, according to IEG.

Besides its prurient interest, the tape raised wider legal issues. The case focused on whether distribution of the tape violated the couple's right to privacy.

IEG argued that the two celebrities forfeited their privacy rights by publicly talking about the video. Some skeptics saw the episode as a publicity stunt.

"We were happy to have an arbitrator decide the issue," said Seth Warshavsky, president of Internet Entertainment Group, in a statement today. "We noticed the depositions of the Lees' associates and former intimates and were prepared to ask them questions about their relationships with the couple. Before we could begin the depositions, we reached a settlement with the Lees, the term of which must remain confidential."

An attorney representing the Lees at the law firm of Weissman, Wolff, Bergman, Coleman & Silverman in Beverly Hills could not immediately be reached for comment.

"In order to protect what privacy they have left, the Lees have entered into a confidential settlement agreement with IEG," said Marleah Leslie, a spokeswoman for the couple, in a statement. "I am prohibited from discussing the terms of the agreement. The Lees have never intended to profit nor have they profited from the stolen tape and are sick about the whole situation."

Although the Lees have been trying to suppress the video from being shown on various Web sites for a few months, the legal scrape with IEG began about a month ago, when IEG said it had obtained a copy of the video, which was reported stolen from the Lees' home. The couple tried to bar distribution of the video on IEG, but a California State Superior Court denied the request for a temporary restraining order November 6.

A day later, IEG played the tape for five hours, which resulted in triple the normal traffic on the site. Then it agreed to halt the broadcast when both sides decided to use an arbitrator. With today's announcement, the broadcast resumes.

IEG said it is the only company that has entered into an agreement with the Lees about the video.