Fox Sports personalities Erin Andrews and Charissa Thompson recently discussed how Netflix’s new Pamela Anderson documentary was confronting for both of them given their own experiences with video voyeurism and unwanted sharing of intimate photos.
The two discussed the documentary and their experiences on a recent episode of their Calm Down podcast.
“It was so freaking good… It touched me in a certain way because of video voyeurism,” said Andrews of Pamela: A Love Story, in which Anderson recounts her life, career, and the infamous sex tape leak that came to define her in the eyes of many. “I had never heard her speak about the violation and the invasion of privacy that it was. And one line that resonated with me, because I know you and I both deal with PTSD from this, was that she said ‘this had never been dealt with before. No one had ever seen it.’
“It took such a toll on her, as her kids say, it ruined her career, ruined her relationship when this new movie came out [Hulu’s Pam & Tommy miniseries] she talked about how it brought it back up. So many times, she was like [in the Netflix documentary], ‘I don’t feel good’… which is how I feel a lot of times. I just never heard her to articulate it that way before, and my heart went out to her and I know yours did as well.”
Andrews was secretly recorded in her hotel room in 2008 by a stalker, who then released the video on the internet. She would later file a lawsuit against the stalker and hotel owners. Andrews was awarded $55 million while the stalker was convicted in criminal court and sentenced to two and a half years in prison.
Thompson added her thoughts on the documentary while also recalling when private photos and videos were hacked from her iCloud account and shared online in 2018.
“It’s an unfortunate thing that you and I both have empathy for one another on because we went through it in different ways,” Thompson said. “But when everything happened to me, those were private videos and pictures that were taken with my boyfriend, that were never meant to have someone hack into my phone and take.
“[When strangers have said to me in the past], ‘Why would you ever even take those?’ OK, so, what I always say is, ‘Give me your phone, and if you don’t want me to see anything that’s in that phone, then you’re just going to open it up, any email, any text message, anything — this isn’t just about pictures. This is your private property that you don’t think is ever going to be exposed. This was a private video in her own home and was stolen.
“… I just think her never making a dollar off of it and the thousands and thousands of dollars I have spent to try and take these things down — and then the cease and desists don’t work and at some point, you feel like you’re up against this thing that you just can’t win at anyways without going down a deep rabbit hole of those kinds of conversations because that’s for another podcast on another day. But I had a lot of compassion for her.”