Hulu: ‘Pam and Tommy’ Is Based on a Rolling Stone Article From 2014 and Yes, the Author’s Watching

Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee’s sex tape might be the focus of Hulu‘s Pam and Tommy, but it’s not the source of inspiration for the series. In reality, a Rolling Stone article from 2014 that profiles Rand Gauthier, the man who stole the tape and orchestrated its distribution, is what sparked the idea for Pam and Tommy. Showbiz Cheat Sheet connected with the author of the investigative journalism piece, and yes, they’re tuning in to the show starring Sebastian Stan, Lily James, and Seth Rogen just like we are.

Tommy Lee (Sebastian Stan) and Pamela Anderson (Lily James) in a promo for the Hulu series 'Pam and Tommy'
Sebastian Stan & Lily James | Hulu

‘Pam and Tommy’ is based on a Rolling Stone article by Amanda Chicago Lewis

Anderson and Lee had a whirlwind romance, marrying in 1995 four days after meeting each other. Lee is a world-renowned drummer and Anderson a famous model, actor, and activist. But together, the couple is widely regarded for their leaked sex tape, which went viral before going viral was possible thanks to Gauthier. 

Almost 20 years later, Rolling Stone published investigative journalist Amanda Chicago Lewis’ article “Pam and Tommy: The Untold Story of the World’s Most Infamous Sex Tape.” The piece focuses on Gauthier (played by Rogen in the series) the “very disgruntled electrician” who took the superstar couple’s sex tape global. 

“Yup, I’m watching,” Lewis told Showbiz Cheat Sheet via email. “The costumes and production design are amazing. For me, knowing all the details of the real story, the show is a fascinating lens into how television gets made and how Hollywood tends to bend a narrative, presumably to make it more digestible or enjoyable for the audience.”

Most of ‘Pam and Tommy’ actually happened as documented by Rolling Stone

Per Lewis’ investigative journalism, a lot of the events that transpire in Pam and Tommy happened to Lee, Anderson, and Gauthier. As Lewis documented, Gauthier stole the safe and, by proxy, the sex tape, after Lee pointed a shotgun in his face and demanded, “Get the f*** off my property.”

At the time, Gauthier had no idea what selling the tape would do to Lee’s fame. Now, everyone knows the Mötley Crüe drummer has one of the “biggest d***s in rock and roll.”

Initially, Gautheir’s motive was revenge. But as he told Lewis: “I made his career, is what happened.” 

Also rooted in truth is Gauthier working relationship with Louis “Butchie” Peraino, the son of a capo in the Colombo crime family. He lent Gauthier and his porn colleague Milton “Uncle Miltie” Ingley $50,000 to manufacture and distribute the tape.

Ultimately, Gauthier’s dreams of becoming rich at Lee and Anderson’s expense backfired. As Lewis reported, most people don’t believe Gauthier when he says he’s the guy who stole the tapes. Still, Gauthier “likes the fact he contributed this small token to the world.” 

Tommy Lee went to jail but Rand Gauthier didn’t 

Contrary to popular belief, Gauthier never went to prison for breaking into the rockstar’s Malibu home and stealing the safe full of guns, ammo, jewelry, and the infamous tape. However, in 1998, Lee served six months in prison for a felony spousal abuse case.

According to AP, “Lee pleaded no-contest … to charges that he kicked wife Anderson several times while she held their baby son.” Lee and Anderson have two sons, Brandon Thomas Lee and Dylan Jagger Lee. Within days of the assault, Anderson filed for divorce. 

New episodes of ‘Pam and Tommy’ release Wednesdays on Hulu 

The first three episodes of Pam and Tommy came out on Feb. 2, 2022, are available to stream on Hulu. There will be eight episodes total.

New episodes of Pam and Tommy release weekly on Wednesdays at 3 a.m. ET/12 a.m. PT. Episode 4 will be available on Feb. 9 and the final episode will drop on Mar. 9, 2022. 

Stream Pam and Tommy on Hulu now. 

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