Bad blood existed long before that night. Lee and Rock shared a common ex: Baywatch old Pamela Andersen. Lee was married to her from 1995-98, with the couple reportedly trying to reconcile at various times after their divorce. Rock, meanwhile, was married to Anderson from July to December 2006.
The 2007 VMAs were held at the Palms in Las Vegas, and initially Lee and Rock kept their distance. Then Lee reportedly decided to hang out with rapper Sean “Diddy“Combs. Rock had been sitting in the same area but was gone at the time.
“From our vantage point, it looked like Tommy Lee went over to say hi to P. Diddy because Kid Rock was out of his seat,” former MTV personality Carson Daly later told me. Today. “Kid Rock returned to his seat and all hell broke loose.”
The exact details varied from witness to witness, but most agreed that Lee said something that Rock did not appreciate. Rock allegedly punched Lee once and then punched him in the face.
“It looked like Tommy Lee started it because Kid Rock was ignoring him,” rap producer Rich Nice told me Today, “and Tommy Lee kind of antagonized him. So when Tommy Lee got up, he looked a little weird, like, ‘Yo, what?’ When Tommy gets up, that’s when Kid hits him the first time with a backhand, and then Tommy Lee looks like he’s trying to get at him to aggressively retaliate—and then Kid Rock hits Tommy Lee again.”
In a subsequent post on his websitesaid Lee that he was “minding my own biz [when] I get a tap on the shoulder from Kid Pebble. I get up and give him a half hug and say ‘Hey dude. So what?’ He punches me in the face – well, if you want to call it that. More like a bitch slap! Whoosh!”
Lee said he went to “bang this jealous non-career-havin’ country bumpkin F.” out, and before I can have a meeting with my fist and his ugly ass mug, security guards – not mine – at the Palms grab me and pull my ass out of the award ceremony, threatening that if I move they’ll break my arm. Yes, whatever!”
Rock was cited for misdemeanor battery as a result of the skirmish. In a radio interview shortly after, he stated that the feud with Lee had been going on for five years.
“I did what any man would do, any man in the whole country, in the whole world would do,” Rock said. “It kills me just to be associated with, to have my name in a sentence with him. It honestly destroys me.”
Rock added that “the last contact I had with him was when Pam and I were going through our divorce. He took her Blackberry and started emailing me a bunch of horrible things. It was extremely disrespectful.”
In the end, however, Rock insisted that their fight “was inevitable. I had to do what I had to do because this was a long time coming. You know, I came back from the bathroom and he was sitting right there. It was still more disrespectful after everything he said. I thought, ‘That’s enough. That’s it.'”
Shortly after their VMA rumble grabbed headlines, Lee and Rock were offered 1 million to take part in a famous boxing match. They declined.
Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee pictures
See dozens of photos of one of rock’s most famous couples.
Think you know Motley Crue?