Pamela Anderson Discusses Her Ties to Vladimir Putin, Julian Assange

Pamela Anderson has discussed her ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin and imprisoned Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in a new interview.

Former Baywatch star Anderson, 55, is currently on the promotional circuit to tout her upcoming memoir Love, Pamela, which is set to be released on January 31. It covers various aspects of her life and career.

And while she has spoken candidly of her time in Hollywood, the Canadian-born screen star has opened up about spending time in the presence of two men who have made headlines away from the entertainment world: Putin and Assange.

Pamela Anderson talks Vladimir Putin, Julian Assange
Pamela Anderson on January 24, 2019, in Paris, Russian President Vladimir Putin on December 27, 2022, in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on December 16, 2010, in London. Anderson has opened up about the time she has spent in the presence of Putin and Assange. Marc Piasecki/Getty Images;/ALEXEY DANICHEV/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images;/Stefan Wermuth-WPA Pool/Getty Images

As a PETA activist, her work has placed her in the same room as a number of powerful figures, including Russian politicians, who she lobbied to ban the import of seal products and asked to block a Japanese ship containing whale meat.

Anderson told Variety of her travels to Russia: "I'd be at the Kremlin, sitting at the table, and everybody would be there. And I would be rustling my papers with my dolphin pictures and my beluga whales getting hypothermia and pleading across the table to these people that actually did things in real time."

"Putin was only in the room once, but he heard of everything," she continued of the Russian leader. "I would get messages from other people that he was pleased that I was there—he kind of got a kick out of me."

Noting the current tepid view of Russia amid the invasion of Ukraine, Anderson—who noted that she voted for President Joe Biden in the 2020 election—added: "I don't know what the right thing is to say right now, because it's horrible."

During the interview, Anderson also spoke of Assange, who she was photographed with on several occasions while visiting at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he was seeking refuge at the time.

Pamela Anderson and Vivienne Westwood
Pamela Anderson and Vivienne Westwood on September 28, 2019, in Paris. Anderson was introduced to Julian Assange by iconic fashion designer Westwood, who passed away in December 2022. David M. Benett/Getty Images

Now imprisoned in the English capital since 2019, Australian journalist and activist Assange is facing extradition to the U.S. on 18 counts stemming from WikiLeaks' release of secret military documents back in 2010.

"It's just heartbreaking because he's in a supermax prison in solitary confinement while he's awaiting a trial, and all of these other people are breaking the law all over the place and no one's in jail," Anderson said. "It's an interesting hypocrisy."

The actress also vaguely addressed speculation over whether her relationship with Assange was ever more that platonic. She told Variety that one night she and Assange enjoyed a "frisky" night while drinking mezcal at the embassy.

"It was romantic because it was so inspirational," she explained. "He's so passionate about life and about everything. There's just nothing that he says that isn't fascinating. So there was definitely a connection. We would just talk through the night and drink mezcal and laugh and tell stories."

According to the Variety article, Anderson is "devastated" that she is no longer able to visit Assange, to whom she was introduced by late fashion designer and activist Vivienne Westwood. In lieu of visits, Anderson said that a member of his legal team reads her letters to him as he remains in custody.

Anderson has long been an advocate for Assange and had urged former President Donald Trump to grant him a full pardon before he left office.

"The entire world wants, or most want him to pardon Julian Assange," Anderson told Fox News host Tucker Carlson in January 2021. "This is his time to shine and really make an impression on the world. If this goes to trial, that's the end of the First Amendment."

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