Outspoken southern beauty queen Bobbie Brown was 22 years old when she burst into the spotlight in 1990 as the star of the sexy Warrant music video Cherry Pie.
A year later, she married the lead singer of the band, Jani Lane, with whom she had a daughter. After they split, Brown dated and bedded a string of famous men including Tommy Lee, Leonardo DiCaprio and Dave Navarro. Today, she's the star of Fuse's reality show Ex-Wives of Rock and her memoir, Dirty Rocker Boys comes out Nov. 26. She tells The Post her story of her days as a '90s video vixen:
I slip on a skimpy red bustier and barely-there daisy dukes in the dressing room of an LA studio. I tease my bleach-blond locks and purse my lips for the makeup artist to put on the finishing touch - a pop of cherry-red lipstick.
It's 1990, and I'm here to film another music video. I've been doing a few of them lately but, for this one, I was personally requested by the band's lead singer, Warrant's Jani Lane.
My agency said Jani saw me competing in the modelling category on Star Search and just had to have me as his video girl. Flattering, I guess, but I have a boyfriend (Matthew Nelson of the band Nelson) so it's just another job for me.
"You look so f***ing hot," Jani, decked out in ripped, skin-tight jeans and a blond mane as long as mine, says as I walk onto the set.
I smile at him, then step in front of the wind machine, cameras and crew. I feel the heat of the stage lights on me, and there's a radio playing in the background: "She's my cherry pie, cool drink of water, such a sweet surprise, tastes so good, make a grown man cry." Every eye in the room is on me, and I love it.
I've gone from the restless girl in Baton Rouge, La., stuffing her bra with her mom's socks, swooning over posters of rock stars plastered all over my bedroom wall, to a grown-up 22-year-old making those same rock stars' heads turn.
I've been living in LA since I was 18, partying on the Sunset Strip, rubbing elbows with celebs and making a name for myself by competing on Star Search for nearly a year. I was never one to set goals or really think about the future at all, so when the fame from the music video for Warrant's Cherry Pie hit - I never could have imagined what was in store for me. It was just the beginning of a decade-long dance with rock stars, partying and drugs.
When I first saw the music video, lying in bed with my boyfriend, Matthew, I knew it was different from the others. I figured I'd be in the token one or two shots, but I was on-screen as much, if not more, than the band. Me on rollerskates coming at the camera, me getting sprayed down with water, me in bed with Jani. Matthew was pissed.
And things got worse a few days after the video came out when Jani went on the Howard Stern radio show to tell the whole world: "I'm gonna marry Bobbie Brown one day."
Matthew just got more and more jealous - not just of Jani, but of the success of my music video. His music wasn't getting much attention, and here I was, getting recognised whenever we walked down the street.
People were constantly calling out, "Hey, it's the 'Cherry Pie' girl!" It felt strange and a little silly. Growing up in the South, my mom had taught me to be humble.
Eventually, Matthew and I split - I told him his twin brother and band mate, Gunnar, was making passes at me, and he sided with his brother. To get under his skin, I did what I knew would make him irate: I called Jani.
Days later, Jani flew me to a concert in my home state of Louisiana for our first date. And it wasn't long until we were an item. Mr Cherry Pie landed his Ms Cherry Pie - it was a match made in hair-band heaven.
Four months later, I was pregnant. I was so young, and I was scared. Things were going well with Jani, but I was trying to think of every reason not to marry him. But the pregnancy seemed like a sign from God - and on July 15, 1991, we got hitched.
We were married for about three years. I loved Jani, but he drank a lot and he could be mean when he was drinking. When I found out he was cheating on me, I couldn't forgive that. And I left him.
I'd been doing coke for years, but my drug habit got even worse after we split. One weekend, I left my daughter with my mom and jetted down to Miami for a modelling gig and went on a major bender. Tommy Lee, the Motley Crue drummer and object of my teenage affections, was there, too. He was hanging out with a friend of mine.
The three of us went out to the club Velvet on our last night in town before my mom brought my baby daughter, Taylar, out for a visit. After I did the last bit of blow I had, I was an emotional wreck. I ended the night holed up in the bathroom crying about what a terrible mother I was.
The next day, my mom convinced me to go to rehab.
When I got back to LA, I started getting calls from Tommy. He and my friend had parted ways and suddenly he was interested in me. He'd leave messages for me yelling, "You're so f***ing hot!"
And it wasn't just phone calls. There were flowers. Lots of flowers. Dozens of orchid bouquets because they were the most fragrant. My house smelled and looked like a solarium.
I was so attracted to Tommy - I had been since I was a teenager. But I was scared s***tless. I'd heard stories about him, and I thought to myself, "I don't know if I can keep up with this freak!"
The sex with Tommy was mind-blowing. And the rumours about him are true.
"Dear God, it's like a baby's arm!" I thought the first time I saw him naked.
From that night on, I knew I was in love with him.
I saw flashes of his anger in the early days, but I didn't care. The seat of my pants were on fire for him - we were having sex at least three times a day.
My daughter and I moved in with Tommy into his Malibu mansion. The rent was $8,000 a month, we had four cars and Tommy spoiled me with crazy items like $10,000 leather pants.
Six months into our relationship, in the summer of 1994, Tommy wanted to take things to the next level.
"I wanna wife you, Bobbie," he said over dinner at the Four Seasons. With tears in my eyes, I said, "Yes."
The four-carat engagement ring was barely over my finger when Pamela Anderson entered the picture.
My new fiancé and I were out one night at Bar One on the Sunset Strip when Pamela approached us. I, of course, knew who she was because people were constantly confusing the two of us - two big-busted blond bombshells. But that night, my doppelganger was on a mission.
"Tommy, I've been dying to meet you!" Pamela gushed. Looking back now, she was clearly on a mission. But back then, I didn't think much of it.
Our engaged bliss didn't last for long. Tommy was so jealous, I couldn't hang out with my friends without him there, and he had a phone service screen all the calls to the house so he'd know who I was talking to.
Then, his anger turned to violence. One night we got home from a party, and I provoked Tommy by bugging him about bringing his friend home with us that night.
As my 2-year-old daughter looked on, Tommy choked me. He had me by the throat up against a wall.
I grew up in an abusive home and had vowed I wouldn't let my daughter grow up that way, too. I was madly in love with Tommy, but I knew I had to leave.
I moved us out of his beautiful home into a condo in Studio City.
I got a call from Tommy four days later.
"I'm in Cancun with Pamela Anderson. We have sex toys. I'm going to f*** her really hard," he said on my answering machine.
I knew he was just trying to hurt me, but did I think he would marry her a couple of days later? Not a clue.
My friend was there with them and called giving me the play-by-play of the nuptials.
Once I knew they'd sealed the deal, I went and sat on my toilet and cried.
After the news came out that Pam and Tommy tied the knot, I started getting more job offers. I got calls from Playboy, which Pam had done already, as well as Baywatch, the TV show she starred on. Everyone thought drama would mean more sales and ratings, I guess.
I was cool with it - might as well make some money on my misery. But Pam was not having it. She told Hugh Hefner and her producers it was either her or me. They chose her.
Things went from bad to worse. My drug use spiralled out of control. I'd graduated to meth to try to keep my weight down. And with one marriage and one engagement blown up in my face - I partied to make myself feel better.
One night at Grand Ville, I ran into Leonardo DiCaprio, a baby-faced 21-year-old actor who'd just had a hit with The Basketball Diaries. I knew him from the clubs, he was always coming up to me saying, "You're going to be my girlfriend one day." But I was with Tommy, and he was just way too young for me. I was five years his senior.
But after the breakup, I was hate-f***ing whoever out of anger.
We went back to his place that night. Leo had barrettes pulling back his dirty blond hair. He turned on some music and started singing the TLC song Waterfalls to me. It was weird - I wasn't into it at all.
But when I pulled his pants down I was like, "Holy s***." I'd just been with Tommy Lee, but Leo looked huge. After that, he put on a condom while I went down on him and then we had sex. But the whole thing was awkward, and we didn't hang out much after that.
After another wild night at the club, I went back to Kevin Costner's place and was so lit I threw a lit cigarette into his bedroom and nearly set his house on fire. But we never had sex.
The next guy I really had feelings for was Mark McGrath, the lead singer of Sugar Ray. I adored Mark. And he was so funny, he could've been a comedian. He was the only person who could really make me laugh and bring me out of my funk after my split with Tommy.
But there was a catch.
We'd been hanging out for a few months when we went to Leo's birthday party together (ironically). This chick comes up to me and says, "Hi Bobbie, I'm Mark's girlfriend."
I was floored. Clearly this woman knew about me and Mark, but I had no idea who she was.
Things eventually faded out with Mark, and I was on to the next one. Dave Navarro, guitarist for Jane's Addiction and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, was the first guy I felt crazy passion for since Tommy. But the first night I met him was truly freaky.
My friend called to tell me she's over at Dave's house after a night at the club and invited me over.
The tattooed rock star opened the door naked with a shotgun wearing a feather boa and sunglasses.
"I'm so glad you came," he said. "I'm downstairs f ***ing that starf***er. I'll put on a video."
It was a video of Dave masturbating. I was beyond weirded out, but I played it cool until he came upstairs with my friend, walked her out and slapped a sticker that said "starf***er" on her back.
But I stayed and Dave made the whole night about me - he was sweet, funny and charming. By the next morning, we were finishing each other's sentences. But we didn't hook up. I was scared to fall too hard for Dave. He was a heroin addict, and I had a daughter to think about.
We hung out for months before we finally kissed. That night, I freaked out and lied to Dave, saying I had a boyfriend.
Things were never the same after that night - he couldn't trust me.
I regret lying to him. I have a lot of regrets about my heyday as a video vixen.
I lost so much time to drugs and gave up so many opportunities while my priority was the men in my life. I squandered meetings with Robert De Niro, Steven Spielberg and Jive Records because I was too high to take them seriously or because I was too busy focusing on a boyfriend or husband.
But my biggest regret is missing out on time with my daughter. She is the true love of my life, and I feel like I wasn't good enough for her. She's a happy, well-adjusted 22-year-old woman now, in college, on the Dean's list at a college in Louisiana. I'm so proud of her, but it kills me that I'll never get the time back that I missed out on when she was young.
I finally kicked the drugs after my dad and stepdad died in 2005. And, after that, for the first time in my life, I got a normal 9-to-5 job. I was the assistant to a guy who owned an agency for dogs. It was humbling. People would say to me, "Didn't you used to be famous?" It was embarrassing. But it was what I needed.
Funnily enough, fame came knocking again when a camera crew came into the office to film a reality show about the agency in 2010. That show fell through, but the producers thought I could hold my own reality show.
The following year, in 2011, my ex-husband, Jani, died of acute alcohol poisoning. He was 47 years old. And although we'd been apart for years, his death destroyed me. Telling Taylar that her dad died was one of the hardest things I've had to do. But it made me want to succeed for her.
Now, I'm on the Fuse network reality show Ex-Wives of Rock and I've got my memoir, Dirty Rocker Boys coming out Nov. 26. I may be back in the spotlight, but I'm doing it different this time. It took me 20 years, but I finally have a goal for myself - to be secure and have success and financial security for my family.
I'm 44 years old and single these days, and back in Studio City, just five minutes from where I lived with Jani. I'm happier than I've ever been. I'd love to get married again, but relationships are no longer my priority.
news.com.au 15 Nov 2013
Puppets of the Hollywood financiers.