Date: 21st March 2002
Pamela Anderson says she has caught hepatitis C from sharing a tattoo needle with former husband Tommy Lee.
"Tommy has the disease and never disclosed it to me during our marriage," said Anderson, who is in a custody battle with Lee over their two children.
Anderson told reporters at the University of California Medial Centre in Los Angeles: "It is true I have hepatitis C and have undergone outpatient treatment."
Anderson, a former Playboy model, became widely known for her role on the television series "Baywatch." Lee was a drummer for the heavy metal band Motley Crue and performs with his side band, Methods of Mayhem.
"Her actions today are a clear attack on Tommy," read a statement from Lee issued a few hours later.
Lee's publicist, Beth Katz, countered by saying: "Her actions are a clear attack on Tommy and hopefully she will realise that she is only doing more harm to her children and herself by trying to use the media as a tool to hurt Tommy and their two boys."
About 3.9 million Americans have hepatitis C, which is spread through blood-to-blood contact. In some patients, it can cause severe liver damage, leading to cirrhosis, liver cancer and liver failure.Current treatments work by boosting the immune system rather than attacking the virus, and are not successful in many patients.
Source: Press Release