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Pamela Anderson opens up in her memoir Love, Pamela, about her trailer in Malibu became a hot spot, drawing famous friends and neighbourhood children alike.Carmello Redondo

Our lives in the Cove felt so bohemian and free – a spiritual cleansing. The boys and I played host to so many eclectic friends and visitors over the years. Vivienne Westwood and her husband, Andreas Kronthaler, once visited. Vivienne and I met while petitioning for Indigenous activist Leonard Peltier’s release from prison, and she invited me to attend one of her fashion shows in Paris. I spent more time reading the manifesto she left on the chair than admiring the clothes. When we met backstage, I went on and on about her poetry and mention of fairy tales. She instantly said, I don’t have to draw you a map. We became friends just like that, and I went on to appear in multiple fashion campaigns for her and Andreas. Vivienne has a profound influence on anyone she meets – or has time for. Later, when Brandon was 18, he interned for Vivienne in London. It was an unconventional but perfect education: she would send him to museums, and when he returned, she’d ask him which painting he’d save in a fire, sending him back over and over until he knew. Brandon learned all aspects of the business, working in design, PR, even retail at her famous shop on King’s Road.

By then, Brandon was old enough for me to get him a membership to the Playboy Club in London, so he had somewhere to go if he needed anything. I told the girls there to keep an eye on him. They most certainly did, with no complaints from Brandon.

Vivienne is unbelievably special – real, raw, no filter. A creator of punk, in style and attitude. When she and Andreas came with Juergen Teller to my tiny trailer in Malibu, all we had was an extra blow-up mattress, because we hadn’t moved in properly yet, but no one was fussy, no need for fancy. Together, we all watched the inauguration of President Obama. We were all so full of hope. Later, we made spaghetti with Queens of the Stone Age, who came by for the shoot and a visit. My neighbours thought I had crazy relatives over all the time and that we liked to take odd family pictures. Juergen took photos of me as I was skateboarding in a pink couture wedding dress. We took eclectic photos in the trailer park’s laundromat and on the trail to the beach. Vivienne loved that I had so many books and was an avid reader – she always said, If you read, you’ll never be boring, and you’ll always have a job – so when she found a volume of Plato on my bedside table, she insisted Juergen take photos of me reading it leaning up against a tree, sitting on a park bench, rolling with it in the sand.

The artist Richard Prince also visited me at the trailer. We walked holding hands down the trail and the beach, he in his white Speedo, and talked about everything, from art to religion to porn. He told me how he had Coke cans hanging in the doorway of his naughty theatre, so you would never be caught in the act, you could hear before anyone turned the corner. We laughed like crazy, especially when we tried to come up with a scheme to meet the notoriously cantankerous artist Mr. Heizer, who lived close to Vegas. He was an earth mover, working on his masterpiece, City. I’d been curious about him, and Richard said we should make a short film – drive the Airstream out there and film what might transpire. We imagined being run off the property, or, best case, being yelled at but being taken in to appreciate the work.

Werner Herzog was calling me at this time, too. His films felt raw, intense, a unique, driven viewpoint. From Cave of Forgotten Dreams, his documentary on French cave paintings, to Fitzcarraldo, he was fearless, and he had the admiration of our mutual friend Ed Ruscha. I remember Ed begging me to please work with Herzog – he thought it would be a brilliant pairing. Unfortunately, Werner’s project for me fell apart. It happens. It was the thought that counted to me – I loved being on his radar at all. Werner was the one who reminded me to not audition for anyone. He said it was a waste of time, and that if a director couldn’t see in me what he saw, they weren’t worth working with. I took his advice to heart.

Our trailer was a hot spot – people were drawn to it, and that made me proud. I took in a lot of kids over the years, some of whom became like family. I made breakfast for all. My famous waffles. My boys would just let me know how many friends were coming, and I’d get to making stacks of them. Kids in the park knew they could come to me with anything. I saw myself in some of them, and I wanted to support them with an open heart, lots of food and love. Like what had been done for me in my early life. Not everyone was as lucky as my boys – they knew that, and we’d make sure we helped others when they needed it.

Reprinted with permission from Love, Pamela, by Pamela Anderson. Published 2023 by Harper Collins Canada.

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