Pamela Anderson on abuse: ‘people [say] you’re crazy, you start believing’

Pamela Anderson At A Press Conference In Paris
The Daily Beast has a new profile and interview with Pamela Anderson, who is starring in a short film called Connected which premieres on Vice online on February 8. Anderson comes across as someone still finding her place in the world post sex symbol and with her sons nearly out of the house. She explains that she’s recently escaped from an abusive relationship, in her marriage to Rick Salomon, which ended early last year. This may be the first time Anderson has publicly talked about the abuse she suffered in the relationship, although she did reveal it in her request for a restraining order against Salomon, which was granted last spring. Luckily she sounds like she’s on the other side of it now and is finding a kind of peace with the world. She also finds purpose in her tireless animal advocacy work. It’s a decent profile and is worth reading if you have the time.

The interview was conducted with Connected filmmaker Luke Gilford, so some of the interview themes were dictated by the film, which depicts a spin instructor, played by Anderson, joining a health cult to regain her sense of self as an older woman. What I’m saying is that Anderson might not be this self-doubting in typical interviews, as they’re drawing parallels to her character. It does seem genuine though and like Anderson was chosen for this part as it mirrors her life somewhat.

She was uncertain about her future
“My kids were getting older—they’re almost both graduated from high school—and I thought, ‘Am I going home? Am I going back to Canada? Am I going to disappear?’”

How she drew from personal experience for this character
“I look at old pictures and I look at me now and I feel, like they say, it just slowly catches up on you—like if you’re in a bad relationship that makes you feel awful about yourself. I was drawing a lot from that, too. Thinking about when people try and control you and put you down, and tell you you’re crazy—you start believing those things.

“A lot of it is psychological. You can make yourself younger just by being happy. I wasn’t happy. I knew I couldn’t do this film while I was married. And I knew I had to take that leap of faith. It was very therapeutic to do this film, at that time.

“It really didn’t take long to bamboozle me into that state. People are powerful. People can be very manipulative. Just trying to get my groove back… trying to drink the shakes, and take the vitamins, exercise, get out there—do what everybody else is doing. That’s kind of what I was drawing from.”

She skipped a meeting with Quentin Tarantino due to paparazzi when she got there
“I didn’t even call him to tell him I wasn’t coming. I stood him up! And I haven’t seen him since. I couldn’t believe Tarantino wanted to meet me. I just freaked out and ran away. But I was looking for any excuse not to go in there. It was self-sabotage; I just wasn’t ready.”

On social media
“We’re so desensitized. People are creating their own image. You’re texting and Instagramming and basically ordering from a catalog who you want to be with and who you want to be around. It’s whoever takes the best pictures. You retouch yourself.”

On firing all her agents and managers recently
“I fired everybody! I fire everybody all the time, but this time I meant it. I find there is this formula that everybody wants people to follow, and I really go with my gut. I felt like I was arguing with people all the time about where to go, what to do, how to look. You know, I’m 48 years old—don’t tell me what to wear! Don’t tell me not to wear lip gloss. I just got out of an abusive relationship, I really didn’t want someone else telling me…

I just want to be the girl with big boobs breaking things. You’ve got to use everything you’ve got. Every woman does. When people say they don’t, they’re lying.”

[From The Daily Beast]

I agree with her about Instagram and social media. It’s somewhat foreign to me. It’s like the social rules have completely changed with the new media. As for Anderson firing all her people, it sounds like her agents were telling her to change her image and she didn’t want to. It’s not a bad idea. She tried to tone down the makeup a couple of years ago and the difference was amazing. She’s so naturally pretty.

Anderson has previously opened up about he fact that she suffered devastating abuse as a child. I hope that she’s ok now and that she has the knowledge and tools to avoid abusive romantic relationships. It sounds like she’s figuring it out.

Stella McCartney Autumn 2016 Presentation

Stella McCartney Autumn 2016 Presentation

Pamela Anderson At A Press Conference In Paris

Pamela Anderson is shown in January at a press conference in Paris protesting foie gras and at the Stella McCartney show with her son. credit: FameFlynet

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46 Responses to “Pamela Anderson on abuse: ‘people [say] you’re crazy, you start believing’”

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  1. Bitchy architect says:

    Ew who is the middle aged troll behind her giving her the creepy side eye?

  2. Little Darling says:

    “Thinking about when people try and control you and put you down, and tell you you’re crazy—you start believing those things.”

    Ugh this resonates with me so much. As one who left an emotionally abusive husband, I know firsthand about how that kind of gaslighting can really damage your esteem. I could have everyone else in the world telling me how amazing I am, how smart I am, how good I am and I sometimes can only hear the ONE voice of the person who tells me I’m worthless and garbage.

    • INeedANap says:

      Same, from a parent and a boyfriend. Gaslighting is considered torture under the Geneva Convention and for good reason. Our chains are largely mental, and other people try to put them there.

    • Belle Epoch says:

      “Gaslighting” is the perfect word. A lot of people don’t seem to know what it means. My parents, who were both mentally ill, told me I was crazy and they were perfect. You can’t just shake off that kind of emotional programming and transform into a well-balanced adult. Good for Pam for working on herself – although her life goal is a little lacking!

      • Snowflake says:

        Idk what gaslighting is

      • Little Darling says:

        Gaslighting or gas-lighting is a form of mental abuse in which information is twisted or spun, selectively omitted to favor the abuser, or false information is presented with the intent of making victims doubt their own memory, perception, and sanity.

        It is a very effective form of emotional abuse that causes a victim to question their own feelings, instincts, and sanity, which gives the abusive partner a lot of power (and we know that abuse is about power and control). Once an abusive partner has broken down the victim’s ability to trust their own perceptions, the victim is more likely to stay in the abusive relationship.

      • BendyWindy says:

        Snowflake, it’s from an old movie. A wife was being deceived by her husband. He would slowly dim their lights (which were gas powered) and when she would comment/ask about it being darker, he would tell her she was imagining it, until she began to doubt herself and what was going on. He was also abusive in other ways. But basically it is slowly making someone doubt themselves in order to control them.

      • MoochieMom says:

        +1. Mom and Dad definitely did a number on us despite a lot of abuse. Mom would light a fire if she thought she’d get attention. Hence, why I tell my child she’s dead. (My Dad did die and it was traumatic for me).

      • Sass says:

        The movie “Gaslight” stars Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer – from 1944. It is very good. I think the term now used originated with the movie. Here is a synopsis:

    • Brittney B. says:


      Wish the term “gaslighting” were more familiar to more people, because it really does creep up on you, changing the way you perceive yourself and everyone around you. Human beings have an instinct to remember and fixate on the worst, which doesn’t help… but this is a tool of abuse, and it’s insidious and it needs to be called out. If someone is dismissing your emotions or opinions as “crazy” instead of attempting to understand your perspective or change their own behaviors, they are the problem. Not you.

      I’m sorry you were EVER manipulated into hating yourself, and I hope you’ve begun to believe the people who love and care about you again. You are not worthless, and you never were.

      • Arock says:

        The term gas lighting actually originates from a play, then movie. The plot is a man marries a somewhat quiet, eager to please wife (Vivtorian era I believe). The house they live in has a treasure or estate in the 4 th level. Finding the money was his real reason for marring her and as a result he’s callous and mean hearted.
        The husband retreats to the 4th floor every night to look for the money, and when he does the gaslights in the house dim due to the extra use. The wife has no idea of his objective or even that there is an attic and begins to question him, the lights, the reasoning etc. To throw her off his trail he convinces her she’s crazy, there is no dimming, she must be seeing things- and he attributes other missing objects and sounds to get mental illness (of course he’s using them in the attic). He gets the maid (angels Lansbury in the film btw) in on it- slowly driving the wife insane. Hence, every time the house gaslights dim she questions her sanity more and is slowly convinced of a false reality where she her judgement is the one question- gaslighting.
        That’s was a very rough outline, someone jump in if I missed something…,.

      • Holmes says:

        I had never heard this term or this concept before today, and it’s just made me realize that I was in what would be considered an abusive relationship for years in my late teens/early 20s. Wow.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I have been there myself, and it’s so insidious. You start to doubt yourself, then you lose yourself entirely. I was drowning. Dying inside. But I just kept smiling and trying harder to please. Thank God, I had two things. A tiny grain of something – self-esteem or self-love or something that kept whispering to me that it’s not true, you’re not ugly, you’re not bad, you’re not lazy, you’re not stupid… And a good friend who intervened and told me he’s crazy, the way he treats you isn’t normal, you don’t deserve this…anyway, I cheer for all of you and for Pam for getting away and getting back your life. I feel so blessed that I got out and my heart breaks for the millions of women who don’t.

      • MoochieMom says:

        Thank you GNAT for the reponse I could never put together. Running off tot he therapist now! 🙂

      • Tammy says:

        I was there myself too and thank God for my family and friends who helped pull me out. An ex boyfriend even intervened.

      • ISO says:

        Wow. While I’m sorry this happened to most ppl on this site, it’s a relief to know I’m not alone. My x would rage, insult and swear, then we’d go to the marriage counselor and he would say I had a bad childhood and couldn’t express anger. I thought he was superior to me and i was broken. The final stage of gas lighting is depression. When I realized i had zero joy nor humor I started to wake up. Slowly. It took one more threatening rage while I held our baby. Even then it was hard to break free. Those borderline personalities know how to manipulate! That was the wake up call to leave. Sadly we have a child together so the permanent extrication is slow and painful.

    • Nicolette says:

      A very close friend of mine is currently separated from her husband. He would verbally abuse her, has hit her more than once, would call her horrible names and degrade her, threaten to find himself two twenty year olds to have sex with, and has convinced her she is ugly. So much so that recently while we were waiting for a table at a crowded restaurant with another friend, she had a panic attack. Ran outside into the cold snowy night without her coat, freaking out. She was convinced everyone was staring at her, and thinking how hideous she is. She is far from it, but the damage caused by him and other verbally and emotionally abusive relationships she’s been in is huge. Her family and friends have spent endless hours trying to make her see what he’s done, and he’s not worth her tears. Incredibly, she would get back together with him tomorrow if he said that’s what he wanted. But his male ego has taken a hit by the fact that she left him, and he says he won’t take her back. Being hit by my husband would be an instant deal breaker for me, and I can’t understand her willingness to possibly get back with him. Another friend and I believe she suffers from Stockholm Syndrome at this point. If he calls her and invites her over for dinner, she goes. The apartment she moved into is only two blocks away from the apartment he lives in. One which was hers before they got married. None of us knows what else to say to her at this point, but we continue to try and make her see how wonderful she is. She is a good person with a kind heart, and a loyal friend who doesn’t have a bad bone in her body. I hope and pray she will be able to move forward, get professional help, and start believing what those of us who love and care for her tell her. I’ll never understand how crushing someone’s spirit and soul can make someone feel good. It’s incredibly cruel, and I hope karma bites him in the ass someday.

      • Little Darling says:

        Awww, I feel for your friend. The worst part of it all, the part I STILL find tricky, is moving the belief of what everyone tells you you are, to actually loving and respecting yourself enough to believe it yourself.

        Self love, self esteem, self respect were all major challenges I had way into adulthood. Even though outwardly I give great face, I seem to accomplish all that I set my mind to, inside I can be such a self doubting, self loathing person to myself. I am by far my harshest critic, and the reason why his gaslighting works so well is because I already feel pretty worthless inside, and he knows best which bullseyes to hit.

        No one else can love me but me, no one can change me but myself, and the only opinion that should matter the most about who I am…is mine. Once my opinion and value of myself got better, I was able to be much more assertive with him.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Wow, I’m sorry, that must be so painful and frustrating for you. I just don’t know what else you can do. As Little Darling said, she has to be ready to change, too. When my friend intervened, I was finally ready to hear it. A couple of people had said things before and I just thought they were being “mean.” I hope your friend finds her way.

  3. Tash says:

    Pam, you do you. If she is not hurting anyone she owes it to herself to be what she wants to be.

  4. Josefina says:

    I love Pamela for the same reasons I love Britney. They may be untalented and tacky but I’ve always got the impression they are truly pure of heart. She just makes me sad, that such a pretty and kind-hearted woman constantly dates the very worst type of men there are. But if she suffered abuse as a girl then that sadly explains everything…

    • Crumpet says:

      Ditto everything you said.

    • doofus says:

      double ditto.

      and that top pic of her at the podium? girl is looking really good. keep it up, lady!

    • Brittney B. says:

      Yes, and Pamela’s kindness has always been apparent (to me) because of her devotion to animals. To paraphrase Gandhi’s quote about nations, the greatness (or lack thereof) of a person can be judged by the way they treat animals.

      Those who were abused or silenced sometimes do the same in return… but people like Pam empathize with fellow voiceless victims, and that’s SO admirable.

      • Josefina says:

        Yes. I’m not a fan of PETA at all but I really admire Pam for being so passionate about this subject.

    • OhDear says:

      Same. I hope she is well.

    • Bridget says:

      She seems kind, but also utterly and completely screwed up. Pamela Anderson in many ways is a construct that she herself created, and I’ve always wondered how much she believes her own image. There have been a lot of questions over the years about how truthful she is about her lifestyle and her choices, and everything comes together to make a picture of an broken woman. The choices she makes, the things she does, make me sad because they are so self destructive, and yet she was clearly in denial about it. I hope this latest go-round with Solomon (who is just human garbage) was a wakeup call for her to get real help.

    • Pepper says:

      Pamela seems lovely. Britney not so much, a lot of former staff have spoken about how unpleasant and inappropriate she is, and there’s no shortage of stories of her being rude to interviewers, wait staff etc.

    • Naddie says:

      I get your point, but I don’t believe that a pure hearted person would last more than one second in the industry.

  5. Eleonor says:

    the “It’s all in your head” thing is devastating.
    I’ve never head an abusive relationship, but I have experienced it first hand because of an health condition, I knew something was wrong with me, but people kept telling me: it’s just stress, or “you are too sensitive”, awful awful. I WAS EFFIN RIGHT.
    But all that time spent feeling like the crazy one…

    and for the “I just want to be the girl with big boobs breaking things. ”
    Pam there is so much more in you than big boobs !

    • Brittney B. says:

      Invisible illness is horrible enough by itself… I’m so sorry your pain was compounded by people who refused to believe you.

      (Depression is similar, and lack of support can literally be fatal for sufferers. It’s so important to acknowledge and respect the experiences of others. I’d rather believe ten people who are “just looking for sympathy” than ignore one person who is in real pain and desperately needs my support.)

  6. chaine says:

    She should take some styling advice. The bottle-blonde undo with the little tendrils hanging down, and the sheer polka-dot blouse–very Loni Anderson. And Loni Anderson is what, 70?

    • Sass says:

      I think her look is much improved, even the sheer blouse. Black and white outfit looks positively normal. No boobs hanging out, etc. She is naturally very pretty and with less troweled on makeup she looks much fresher. If she let her eyebrows grow in a bit, she would be the girl next door.

  7. Tiffany says:

    I never bought into Pam being crazy, just someone who wants to be loved.

  8. Squiggisbig says:

    Too bad about the Taratino thing. I think she could have been kind of interesting in a sma role in one of his movies.

  9. The other paige says:

    She always seemed like a nice girl-I hope she figures it out. Team Pam!

  10. Embee says:

    Pamela Anderson has–like Britney Spears–been emblematic of the modern woman’s predicament. She’s sexy and appealing, and both revered and reviled for that. I feel like her story’s arc (and Britney’s) are a very important warning/message to our culture about how we treat women and girls…rewarding the over-sexualization, punishing them, our judgment of their parenting, the subsequent vulnerability. They both break my heart and make me want to pump my fist.

    Go on with your big boobs. Break all the things.

    • Bridget says:

      We want them to be sexy and magnetic, but we also want to delude ourselves into thinking that these vulnerable, broken women are owning their careers and sexuality. Both Britney and Pam were too fragile to withstand the pressure.

  11. jinx says:

    Just goes to show how truly gullible people can be.

  12. LeAnn Stinks says:

    Poor Pam,

    She always seem choose abusive men, or men with addiction problems (Tommy Lee (who was jailed for hitting her while she was holding baby Dylan)), Kid Rock, Rick Solomon).

    I am not sure if she aware that she is trying to resolve her past issues by trying to “fix” them in these past relationships. I hope she gets the proper help she needs, to break the cycle, and realize she deserves someone who will treat her with love and respect.

  13. UmamiMommy says:

    I really, really like her. She doesn’t try to hide her imperfections, and we’ve gotten to see her growth and evolution over time.

  14. ol cranky says:

    Am I the only one who remembers that she lied and accused Tommy Lee of giving her Hepatitis B and never retracted or apologized when it turned out he didn’t have it so she couldn’t have gotten it from him?

  15. Kori says:

    She does seem awfully sweet and a bit naive really considering her whole history. I remember years ago her talking about how she took her kids to church and she was even a Sunday school teacher. I think she’s really loved being a mom and wanted to be a real hands-on one. I watched her reality show years ago and she just seemed like a kind, sort of ditsy but not dumb person. And she’s always done great for the USO and other charities without a big hullabaloo. I hope she finally finds a good guy or contentment on being on her own and doesn’t attract any more losers.