Pamela Anderson said she swallowed a bottle of Advil with vodka early in her marriage to Tommy Lee.
His "angry" and "jealous" actions drove her to a "despair" she'd never felt before, she said.
Her brother Gerry fought Lee at the hospital and blamed him for "killing" Anderson and her career.
Anderson wrote that she felt like she had to be "on 24/7" when she was newly married to Lee, whom she married in Cancun in 1995 after just four days of spending quality time together. She said Lee had put ecstasy in her champagne the night they began discussing marriage.
Her TV series "Baywatch" was quite popular when she was a newlywed, and Anderson recalled Lee visiting the set of the show often, especially on days she was scheduled to film kissing scenes with her costars. He tried to explain his presence by saying he just wanted to spend quality time with her.
"He got so angry and jealous when I had scenes with other men, especially if I was kissing someone else. That was out of the question," she wrote. "They started changing the dialogue and scenes if they saw Tommy coming. I even wore a pager on the back of my bathing suit on set — '007' meant 'call Tommy now.'"
Anderson said she felt "stress," pressure," and a "desire to make everyone happy" that was difficult to manage, and soon began taking ephedrine, which she described as "speedy diet pills," supplied by a friend.
"I liked how the pills kept me awake, and I could get a lot more done. But the side effects meant I was losing weight fast," Anderson admitted. She said she looked like a "bowlegged skeleton" in her wardrobe, and the slightest ocean wave would knock her over while filming. Her friends and coworkers began to get worried, and for good reason, she said.
Anderson appears to have attempted to drown herself
Lee's erratic behavior on the "Baywatch" set one day triggered a life-threatening chain of events. He had "rammed his car into the makeup trailer" and intentionally tried to destroy it before forcing Anderson into the car. He then drove her home and then abandoned her there.
"I cried all night. I couldn't take it anymore and I didn't know what to do," she wrote. "It was a depth of despair I'd never felt—and I'd been through a lot."
She said she had gotten into the bathtub and "tried to swallow a bottle of Advil with vodka, sinking slowly under the water." The activist described feeling "at the end of my rope."
"But luckily, I couldn't stand the taste of hard alcohol and the nausea forced me out of the tub. I threw up everything, all over the stone floor, and then fell asleep in a pool of Advil-red vomit."
A driver responsible for bringing her to work discovered the star. "It must have looked scary."
She remembered that while she was in the hospital, Lee and her brother Gerry Anderson, who was an extra on "Baywatch" at the time, got into a physical fight during which Gerry told Lee he was "killing" Anderson and her career.
While Anderson was in the hospital recovering, she said doctors told her she was pregnant and she and Lee vowed to put everything behind them. She'd later miscarry that pregnancy.
In "Love, Pamela," the "Home Improvement" actor wrote that she reached her limit with Lee in early 1998 when their son Dylan was just a few weeks old and Lee physically harmed her while she was holding the infant in her arms. The police were called, charges were filed, and Lee spent six months in jail.
Despite the fact that Lee wanted to stay married, their divorce was final in 1998. When Lee was released from jail they briefly reconciled but eventually split again.
"Pamela, a love story" is available to stream on Netflix.
Anderson's memoir "Love, Pamela" is available now.
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