Jon Peters has had a storied Hollywood career — and some lawsuits brought against him
Pamela Anderson is newly married — and she’s tied the knot with a longtime friend!
The Baywatch actress, 52, secretly wed movie producer Jon Peters, 74, on Monday in a surprise ceremony, PEOPLE confirmed. Anderson’s publicist said, “They are very much in love and were married yesterday.”
While the newlyweds’ marriage comes as a surprise, the couple has known each other for three decades. Peters has been married four times before Anderson. First to Henrietta Zampitella which ended in 1966. A year later he married Lesley Ann Warren until they divorced in 1977. The two have one son. From 1987 to 1993, he was with producer Christine Forsyth-Peters, with whom he has two daughters. He was also married to Mindy Peters from 2001 to 2004.
Anderson was previously married to Tommy Lee, with whom she shares sons Brandon, 23, and Dylan, 22. The two were married from 1995 to 1998 and had a tumultuous marriage, in which Lee spent 6 months in the Los Angeles County Jail for spousal abuse.
The actress later married and divorced Kid Rock in 2006 and married and divorced producer Rick Solomon twice — in 2007 and 2013. Both marriages to Solomon dissolved in less than a year.
Here’s everything to know about Peters and his romance with Anderson.
1. The two first met at the Playboy mansion.
Peters and Anderson met in the mid-’80s at Hugh Hefner’s Playboy mansion and began dating shortly after their encounter.
“I walked in and saw this little angel sitting at the bar. It was Pammy. She was like 19. I knew she would be a big star,” he told The Hollywood Reporter in October 2017. “We ended up living together. Of course, Hefner loved her and saw her beauty. Pamela was a girl who with no makeup was gorgeous. She was very smart and very talented. I tried to talk her out of doing Playboy. I said, ‘Don’t do Playboy. Focus on a serious career.’ She said, ‘You’re nuts.’ She wanted to do Playboy and she went on to do 13 covers.'”
2. Peters offered Anderson help with her career — but she refused.
Peters claimed to THR that he could have helped Anderson’s career, saying, “If I find someone to be really special, like an actress, they usually become very famous. I have a great eye for beauty, specialness. Lesley Ann Warren. Barbra [Streisand]. All the different women I’ve been with.”
But, he said, Anderson “was amazingly ambitious, knew what she wanted to do, how she wanted to do it. She was like the early Kardashians.”
“She’s very smart. She raised two kids on her own. She was beat up all the time by that guy Tommy-whatever-his-name-was,” Peters continued. “I picked her up many times from her lawyer’s office and flew her up with her kids and hid her out in Aspen for a month because the guy was beating her up.”
“She made it through,” he added. “She raised the kids. She’s got money. She’s got a career. She’s living in Paris. She’s the modern-day Marilyn Monroe. She’s just unique. And I think that’s why Hefner gave her 13 covers. He really loved her. And that’s how we met. It’s a lost chapter in Hollywood. There are no more Hugh Hefners, believe me.”
In 1998, while married to Anderson, Lee pleaded no contest to a felony charge of spousal battery and was sentenced to six months in jail.
3. His career began as a hairdresser — and that led to his romance to Barbra Streisand.
The mogul probably learned his skills in hairdressing from his mother and joined the family business — a renowned salon in Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills — where he made his film industry connections.
Peters designed a wig for Streisand for the 1974 comedy For Pete’s Sake. From there he worked with Streisand on 1976’s A Star Is Born, for which he was also given producer credit.
Despite being in a relationship with Lesley Ann Warren at the time, he and Streisand began a relationship that lasted 12 years.
In December 1983, Streisand spoke about their relationship while on the cover of PEOPLE.
“He’s very strong but he’s also sensitive and creative,” she said at the time. “And he has a great zest for life. He loves to build things, and so do I.”
“By the time we had been together for eight years our relationship had reached a turning point,” Streisand recalled to PEOPLE. “We were butting horns because I was passionately involved in Yentl, and neglecting him. We had also been too dependent on each other. And you come to resent dependency. We needed to be apart.”
It was Peters who provided Streisand with the “direct challenge” she told PEOPLE she needed in order to direct and star in the 1983 film Yentl. “Somebody like my mother to tell me I couldn’t do it,” she said. “Then I’d get mad and do it. Jon gave me the challenge. He told me straight out I’d never make the picture.”
A former production colleague of the pair told PEOPLE at the time that Peters was “a predator.”
“Sharp, imaginative and vulgar,” the colleague said. “But he’s been important to Barbra because he’s said no to her. They fought like tigers. Most of the time they lived on an adrenaline high.”
The pair split in 1985 but remained close friends afterward.
Peters spoke about their chemistry in an January 2017 cover story for THR, saying, “She was probably the love of my life. Yeah. She was the most captivating, interesting, creative person I have ever met. I owe her. I will always owe her giving me the life that I’ve had.”
4. He has called himself the “Trump of Hollywood.”
“I am the Trump of Hollywood,” Peters proudly told THR.
He also admitted to voting for Trump “because I felt in my heart that he could really actually do a great job,” he said, despite thinking “Hillary was going to win.”
“I thought that every time he said stupid things and he acted like a fool, and all the women and things, I thought it was going to kill him,” he continued. “It didn’t because a lot of people are like him. Like to look at pretty girls. Wish they could talk to a pretty girl. Wish they could do this.”
He admitted, “I’ve been a Democrat my whole life. I voted for Obama twice. But this is a brilliant man. I saw a brilliant man who ran an empire, and I thought that he could run the country.”
5. Peters has been sued for sexual harassment at least five times.
Peters has been sued by at least five former employees for sexual harassment from incidents between 1996 and 2008, according to a 2018 report by Jezebel.
Shelly Morita, a former employee who worked as Peters’ personal assistant, claimed in 2006 that he had sexually harassed her and exposed himself to her and her 3-year-old daughter at the time, per a report by the Associated Press.
Peters has denied all the allegations in each lawsuit brought against him according to the Jezebel report. All but Morita’s suits were dismissed before they could go to trail. He was ordered by a court to pay Morita $3 million in damages in August 2011, according to Variety, after a jury found Peters liable.
“It was not about money,” Morita told Jezebel in 2018. “It was about standing up and saying, ‘What you did was wrong.’ It was about saying, ‘Hey, I’m not afraid of you, and I’m not going to take what you did to me.’”
When the allegations against him resurfaced as Cooper’s A Star Is Born was entering the awards circuit, Cooper addressed the controversy of having Peters producer credit on the film.
“If I had known all those things, I would have done it differently,” Cooper told NPR in September 2018. “I wanted to make the movie, I knew I had to get consent from him, otherwise there’s no film. But I should have checked. I guess that’s the thing.”
He continued, “On the set, you have to create an environment where everybody feels safe. Everybody. And there’s no room for disrespect. And that’s something that you’d have to ask everybody who was involved, but I feel like that’s the environment I created. Luckily, Jon wasn’t there.”
In a statement to THR at the time, Warner Bros. spoke of its obligation to include Peters in the production, saying, “Jon Peters’ attachment to this property goes as far back as 1976. Legally, we had to honor the contractual obligation in order to make this film.”