Tommy Lee's Father's Day spat with son latest in long history of his parenting problems (updated)

Suzy Byrne
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
Tommy Lee and his son Brandon were apparently involved in a physical altercation. (Photos: Getty Images)

It was clearly an unhappy Father’s Day for Tommy Lee and his elder son with Pamela Anderson, Brandon Thomas Lee.

For whatever reason, the drummer, 55, decided to use the holiday as a way to publicly attack his two sons, also including son Dylan Jagger Lee, in a public forum. In an Instagram post, Tommy Lee shared what he learned from his father, then he went on to say that he feels like he “failed as a father” because his sons “don’t know the value of things. If they break something, they don’t care because they know they’ll just get a new one; if they hurt someone, they don’t care because so many people tell them it’s OK.” He went on to say that his ex-wife Anderson “has a lot to do with it, enabling bad behavior and buying them things when they weren’t good,” but he had hoped they would end up “kind,” implying that they aren’t. “Sometimes it’s really tough to watch your kids grow up without those morals. Nothing can really prepare you for fatherhood … I love my boys, but they can be a**holes too … and that’s the truth.”

As one might expect, the message wasn’t exactly embraced. Brandon, 22, struck back, saying — in brief — his dad is a crappy dad.

The first line from Brandon’s post — “remember what happened last time you said this s***? night night” — refers to their fight earlier this year. Things between Brandon, a model and aspiring actor, and Lee got physical in March and police were called to Lee’s Calabasas, Calif., home, and he was transported to the hospital. Escalating the Father’s Day war of words, Brandon then posted a video from what is thought to be that fight — with Lee appearing unconscious on the ground.

“Look a little sleepy there Tommy,” Brandon wrote.

The video of Tommy Lee on the floor in his underwear was deleted. (Photo: Brandon Lee via Instagram)

Lee’s fiancée, Brittany Furlan, who witnessed the fight in March and appeared in the video, criticized Brandon for posting it. “This is too much,” she wrote. “Your dad loves you and you love your dad. Please stop. Everyone is hurt. Enough is Enough.” Brandon replied by calling her an “enabler,” telling her to fix Lee another drink.

However, by Monday, Brandon had deleted the video. In its place was a message directly to Lee, telling him stop badmouthing him — and his mother. He said his father doesn’t know what kind of a person he is because Lee is never around him. He said that Lee’s post stemmed from being bitter that Brandon didn’t wish him a happy Father’s Day — when Lee didn’t reach out to Brandon on his recent birthday. “Please stop posting all this on social media, it’s making us all act like kids,” Brandon wrote. “Let’s just drop it … It’s time to move on. Let’s keep this private.”

Although you would think that would be the end of it, Lee insisted on the last word. He shared a quote on Monday afternoon that said, “People hate the truth. Luckily, the truth doesn’t care.”

“People hate the truth. Luckily, the truth doesn’t care.” (Image: Tommy Lee via Instagram)

He followed it up with this gem, detailing how much he claims to have spent on Brandon’s rehab ($130,000). Tommy then happily replied to questions from commenters about his son’s never-before-revealed trip to rehab. For example, Mandy Marshall asked, “So he’s been to rehab?” Tommy replied, “Sure has.”

For the record, Anderson has sided with her son in this mess. “Pamela stands by Brandon’s reaction to his father’s post,” a source tells Entertainment Tonight. “She believes Brandon has the right to protect himself and the family. In Pam’s eyes, while Brandon is Tommy’s biological son, that doesn’t make Tommy a real father.”

This latest drama brings up Tommy Lee’s history of parenting problems…

February 1998: Lee and Pamela Anderson had a famously tumultuous union. (Highlights: They married in 1995 just four days after meeting. They had their sex tape stolen. She filed for divorce a year after their wedding only to change her mind.) In early 1998, Anderson — who by then had had two sons with the wild rocker — filed for divorce again after Lee attacked her while she was holding their infant son Dylan.

April 1998: Lee pleaded no contest to a felony charge of spousal battery. In March, he was sentenced to six months in jail as well as counseling and rehabilitation, performing 200 hours of community service and paying a $6,200 fine to a battered women’s shelter. Although the couple divorced, they got back together a year later and were on and off for several years.

Pamela Anderson, Tommy Lee, and their son Brandon at the Guitar Center in Hollywood in 1997. (Photo: S. Granitz/WireImage)

July 2001: The couple split again. That year at Brandon’s fifth birthday party at Lee’s Malibu manse, one of the child’s pre-K classmates drowned in the swimming pool. Authorities cleared Lee of any wrongdoing — the child was accompanied to the party by a nanny who left the party early, leaving the child in another nanny’s care — but Lee was sued by the family of the child.

December 2001: Anderson, who had moved on with Kid Rock, and Lee found themselves in a nasty custody battle. In legal documents filed in the Los Angeles Supreme Court, Anderson claimed that Lee subjected their children to physical and mental abuse. The Baywatch alum cited many incidents: (1) Lee severely beat her as she breastfed Dylan when he was 7 months. (2) He allegedly dangled one son in front of his “temperamental” 130-pound Rottweiler. (3) He made their children watch disturbing television images of the World Trade Center attacks as well as other violent TV programs. (4) He took their “traumatized” sons on a boating holiday shortly after a young child drowned at Brandon’s birthday party. (5) He encouraged the boys to swear and call their mother a “freak” after he became jealous of her new relationship with Rock. The allegations were vigorously denied by Lee.

“Often when they come home they suffer from nightmares for days,” Anderson said in the court filing. “They typically scream, cry, and cling to me when they know they have to go to Tommy’s house and tell me they do not want to go. Brandon has told me that Tommy hurts him and pinches him and Dylan. Dylan has told me that he hates me for making him go to his father’s.”

March 2002: In an interview with CNN’s Larry King Live, Anderson said Lee was estranged from his children, who fear him, and is unable to take care of them without a court-appointed monitor. “They’ve never had a relationship with their father since they were born,” she said. “They’ve always been afraid of their father, and their father has had no contact, really, with them.”

Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee were on and off for many years. In August 2003, long after their divorce, they brought their sons to the X Games in Los Angeles. (Photo: J. Merritt/FilmMagic)

January 2003: They resolved their custody dispute. Lee got partial custody of the boys.

April 2003: Lee is cleared in the drowning of Brandon’s classmate.

June 2008: After a brief marriage to Rock, Anderson reconciled with Lee, and the family is all under one roof again. Lee tells Rolling Stone that the kids are so “happy” to have their parents together again. However, the two split again soon after. Anderson went on to marry two more times (to one person: Rick Salomon) and Lee, who already had two other marriages under his belt (including to Heather Locklear in the ’80s), has been engaged a total of five times, including the most recent one to Furlan.

July 2010: Lee threw Brandon an epic 14th birthday party with a rave theme and brought the Beastie Boys’ Mix Master Mike to spin. The police were called to the house three times, Lee was happy to report.

March 2016: In an interview with Wendy Williams, Anderson said Lee is a “good father.”

August 2016: In an interview with W, Brandon talked about his close relationship with his mom but makes it seem like things are fine with his dad too. He told a story about being backstage with his dad at Coachella and meeting Beyoncé.

Pamela Anderson and Brandon Thomas Lee in Beverly Hills in 2011. (Photo: David Livingston/Getty Images)

March 2018: Lee said that while he was in bed with his fiancée, Brandon “busted into the room and assaulted me.” Father and son, who were reportedly fighting over a social media post Lee made dissing Anderson, claimed he told his son to “leave the house,” but instead the boy “knocked me unconscious” and then “ran away from the police.”  Lee posted a photo of his fat lip on social media, but then deleted it. “My heart is broken,” he captioned the post, which he deleted soon after. “You can give your kids everything they could ever want in their entire lives and they can still turn against you. Good job Brandon. Great son!”

However, according to TMZ, Brandon was merely defending his mom’s honor. (They were fighting over a tweet Lee posted criticizing Anderson for bringing up Lee’s 1998 arrest for spousal battery during a recent interview with Piers Morgan.) Lee was also allegedly intoxicated during the dispute. The men continued to spar on Instagram. (Lee took video of Brandon’s messy bedroom and basically warned women not to date his son because of it; Brandon said on his Instagram Story, “As I get older, I have started to realize that there are very few people you can trust … that’s my super depressing thought for tonight. Just thought I’d share it and be a d***.”)

Although Lee initially planned to press charges — because his son wouldn’t apologize — he later changed his mind.

June 2018: Lee publicly bashes both sons in a Father’s Day post. Brandon fights back, posting video of their previous physical fight online. He later removed it and urged his dad to take the drama offline, but his post included quite a few insults, including calling Lee a “letdown” and a “motherf***er.”

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