January 13, 1998 11:30 AM PST

Pamela Lee privacy issue returns

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Pamela Lee drops video case

December 1, 1997
The company that turned to the Net to distribute a steamy home video of Pamela Anderson Lee and her husband today promised to deliver another sexually intimate movie of the former Baywatch star on the Web later this month.

This time, the amateur video will allegedly feature Lee and ex-boyfriend Bret Michaels, singer from the rock group Poison, said Internet Entertainment Group (IEG), which offered the first video online, sparking an online privacy debate.

The 45-minute video of Lee and Michaels is slated to go live on the Net on January 26, according to IEG. The company says it obtained the film from a "nondisclosed, authorized source" and that the video will be digitally enhanced for display on Web sites. The film also will be sold in some retail stores.

Proving once again that sex sells on the Net, IEG says its Web site got 17 million hits the day after it posted the "wedding video" of the Lees last year, helping the company to rake in $20 million for 1997, a spokeswoman said today.

Lee and her husband, Tommy Lee of the band Motley Crue, sued IEG last fall over their wedding video, but settled the case through a confidential agreement in December. Under the pact, IEG was able to continue selling at video stores the wedding tape, dubbed "Pam & Tommy Lee Hard Core and Uncensored." IEG's Web site contains a copy as well.

Some observers speculated the incident was merely a publicity stunt.

It also brought up online privacy concerns, however, making the former Playboy model Lee the unlikely focus of the debate.

Lee and her husband argued the video was stolen from their home and distributed without their permission--a violation of their rights. IEG countered that the video was made in public--on a boat trip on Lake Mead in Nevada--so the two celebrities forfeited their privacy rights.

It is unclear, however, whether the upcoming video was also filmed in a public place.

Lee also understands the power of Net marketing. She has launched her own Web site in part to control how her copyrighted images are used on the Net--although bootleg videos and pirated photos will no doubt keep surfacing.

Despite the previous legal battle, IEG said it has no qualms about releasing the second video. "We haven't been sued yet. This is a legitimate video," IEG spokeswoman Melissa DiLello said today. "The reasons we are doing this are pretty obvious based on the turnout last time."

IEG will make money from the sale of video copies in stores. To access the video on the Web site requires a membership, which has varied fee structures, including a free trial. The site requires adult age verification through credit card numbers.

As of today, Lee's spokesperson, Marleah Leslie, had not released a statement on the new IEG video. The law firm of Weissman, Wolff, Bergman, Coleman & Silverman in Beverly Hills, which represented the Lees in their case against IEG, declined to comment.

 

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