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Tommy Lee Gets 6 Months in Jail for Beating His Wife

Courts: Rock star is spared state prison but must undergo counseling and rehabilitation and perform 200 hours of community service.

May 21, 1998|SUE McALLISTER | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Rock star Tommy Lee was sentenced Wednesday to six months in Los Angeles County Jail for battering his wife, actress Pamela Anderson Lee, and was warned that any violation of his subsequent probation will land him in state prison for three years.

Malibu Municipal Judge Lawrence J. Mira said he hoped that counseling would teach the tattooed Motley Crue drummer to solve problems without violence and that jail time would convince him to stick to the many conditions of his three-year probation.

Lee pleaded no contest last month to a felony charge of spousal battery.

"What I see here is a very clear--very disturbing, in my judgment--pattern of conduct in which otherwise resolvable matters are handled by violence," Mira said. "You do it whether it's a family member or a third party. That's intolerable in any kind of civilized society."

Mira gave Lee a three-year suspended prison sentence and required as conditions of his probation that he spend 180 days in jail and pay a total of $6,200 to a battered women's shelter, a victim restitution program and a domestic violence fund.

The judge noted that Lee had been repeatedly placed on probation for a series of violent incidents dating back to 1983 and faulted the justice system for allowing the rocker to believe that he could get away with behaving violently.

Lee must also enroll in counseling and rehabilitation programs and perform 200 hours of community service. He is prohibited from contacting his wife, who was not in court Wednesday.

A stricken-looking Lee, dressed in a dark pinstriped suit, turned to his parents, sister and friends and said, "See you later, guys," as he was led away in handcuffs.

Before sentencing, Deputy Dist. Atty. Kathy Solorzano described for the court the Feb. 24 altercation that left Pamela Lee with bruises, a torn fingernail and fear for the safety of her two sons, Dylan and Brandon.

Lee assaulted his wife, who was holding their infant son, after she refused to call her parents and ask them not to come over to the couple's home, Solorzano said.

The former "Baywatch" actress, who filed for divorce shortly after the incident, had hoped her husband would be spared jail time, said Solorzano, but supported the requirement that he undergo anger management counseling.

Tommy Lee's attorney, Charles English, said after the hearing that his client was "obviously very sad that he's going to be away from his kids," and speculated that Lee would complete his probation successfully.

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