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Fact-Checking Pam & Tommy: Did Pamela Anderson Really Miscarry After Her Sex Tape Was Stolen?

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Hulu’s limited series Pam & Tommy tells the real-life story of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee’s sex tape being stolen by electrician Rand Gauthier and circulated via the internet in the late ’90s — but not every scene the series includes actually happens. In last week’s episode, we watched Lily James’ Pam suffer a miscarriage, a devastating loss of the pregnancy she’d so hoped for with Sebastian Stan’s Tommy. It’s a scene that, like many in the series, makes you feel so bad for real-life Anderson that you can’t help but wonder why this series was made at all — and the creative liberties Hulu took in bringing this miscarriage plot to life won’t help viewers feel any more righteous about what they’re watching. So, did Anderson actually have a miscarriage? Read on for a fact-check of how the TV show played this out.

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Episode 4 of Pam & Tommy, “The Master Beta,” opens with Pam and Tommy at a doctor’s appointment listening to the baby’s heartbeat, ecstatic about the new life they’re bringing into the world. The couple then blissfully announces their pregnancy to their friends, and it’s only when Tommy goes to put away the ultrasound print-out for safe-keeping that he discovers that safe has been stolen.

At the end of the episode, after a week of Pam and Tommy frantically trying to chase down who stole the tape and prevent it from spreading, there’s another trip to the doctor, where Pam finds out she’s lost the pregnancy and collapses crying into Tommy’s arms. It’s a heartbreaking moment — and its parallels to reality make it all the more disturbing.

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Lily James, Sebastian Stan in ‘Pam & Tommy’ Erin Simkin/Hulu.

In real life, Pamela Anderson did at one point lose a pregnancy while with Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee, but that was in June 1995 — months before the sex tape was stolen, let alone distributed and wreaking havoc in the couple’s life. Anderson and Lee went on to have two sons, Brandon Thomas and Dylan Jagger Lee, born in June 1996 and Dec. 1997, which means that Anderson did become pregnant again around the time that the tape was stolen, but she went on to carry that pregnancy to term.

By altering the timing of Pamela Anderson’s miscarriage to make it seem as though it was caused by the stress of her sex tape becoming public, Pam & Tommy heightens stakes that already felt quite high enough, and risks suggesting that the real-life events surrounding this theft weren’t adequately traumatic to gain viewers’ sympathy. Knowing throughout that Anderson reportedly does not approve of this series having been made, it’s jarring to see yet another one of her most private moments played out for entertainment purposes, particularly in the interest of making us even more sympathetic to Anderson — a feat that, once accomplished, only leaves you wondering why you’re watching Pam & Tommy at all.

New episodes of Pam & Tommy are released on Hulu every Wednesday at 3 a.m. ET. 

How to watch Pam & Tommy for free

You can watch Pam & Tommy on Hulu for free by subscribing to either the ad-supported plan or the no-ads plan. With both plans, you can watch Hulu original and exclusive content any time you want for the first 30 days of your plan. After that, the price points will kick in. Hulu’s ad-support subscription means that you’ll watch your favorite shows and movies with some advertising interruptions from time to time. After your 30-day free trial, the $6.99/month (or $69.99/year) begins.

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But let’s say you’re not particularly keen on having ads interrupt your viewing time. Hulu’s no-ad plan is just a smidge more expensive. After your 30-day free trial, the no-ad subscription plan will kick in at $12.99/month. There is no annual option for this plan. Either way, you’ll get to watch Pam & Tommy for free for the first 30 days of subscription. And you can cancel at anytime.

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