From the moment playboy centerfold Pamela Anderson sent him a shot of Goldschläger on New Year's Eve, Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee was smitten. The notorious ladies' man reciprocated with his best pickup line -- a lick across the face. Weeks later, he tracked her down in Mexico. On Feb. 19, 1995, after a four-day courtship, the lovebirds tied the knot on the shores of Cancún. The Canadian beach-bunny bride, then 27, wore a white bikini; the L.A.-bred groom, 32, sported shorts. Instead of wedding bands, they opted for ring-finger tattoos bearing each other's names.
Their union set tabloid tongues wagging, but they appeared to savor marital bliss. Anderson talked of cavorting nude atop a living-room swing as happy hubby played piano, and for Lee's 33rd birthday the ''Baywatch'' babe hatched a $300,000 freak-show carnival. After a 1995 miscarriage, they rejoiced over the birth of Brandon Thomas in June 1996.
But a certain home movie surfaced that year, disrupting their reverie. Web entrepreneurs hawked a hardcore tape of the pair's 1995 Lake Mead vacation (some called it a publicity stunt; the duo said it was stolen). It quickly became a hot party treat. ''I'm just horrified,'' Anderson said. ''I don't know why I bother to put on clothes when I go out anymore.'' Overwhelmed by bad press and fed up with Lee's drinking, she filed for divorce in November 1996; two weeks later, though, all was forgiven.
That didn't last long. In early '98, Lee was led away from their Malibu home in cuffs after Anderson accused him of attacking her as she held their second son, 2-month-old Dylan Jagger. Lee pleaded no contest to spousal abuse (child-abuse and firearm-possession charges were dropped); he spent four months in jail and was ordered to abstain from drugs and booze. Once again, Anderson filed for divorce.
By mid-1999, a sober, Crüe-less Lee and his newly breast-implant-free ''soul mate'' were discussing remarriage. ''I picture Tommy and me...old, toothless, on a bench somewhere with our tattoos,'' Anderson gushed. But the following year they bid adieu yet again, with Anderson citing Lee's hard-drinking ways. In May 2000 she testified he had imbibed bubbly with her on New Year's Eve, violating parole. He spent five days in jail. ''They were in a child-custody battle,'' says Lee's lawyer and friend Harvey Slovis. ''His drinking had nothing to do with why she ratted him out.''
Both continue to duke it out in court, still embroiled in custody wars. Anderson, now star and exec producer of ''V.I.P.,'' may soon join new beau Kid Rock on the road. Lee, who's dating Prince's ex-wife, Mayte, is preparing for the release of his second post-Crüe rap-metal effort. Considering his tumultuous time with Anderson, the title's perfect: ''Never a Dull Moment.''