Not to be confused with the makeup artist Bobbi/Bobby Brown, this Bobbie Brown (also known as Bobbie Brown-Lane) is an actress, model, and former Miss Louisiana Teen. But the reason people recognize her is because she was the infamous blonde in the music video for the glam metal band Warrant’s song Cherry Pie in 1990.
In fact, it was on that video shoot that she met the band’s frontman Jani Lane, whom she married a year later. Two years later, they divorced, and she almost immediately got engaged to Mötley Crüe’s Tommy Lee. Then, a year after that, they broke up (and four days after that, he married Pamela Anderson). Fast forward to 2011, and Jani Lane was found dead in his apartment. Brown has only recently revealed the truth about the incident…
Before reality TV, we didn’t really get the real deal when it came to seeing the train wrecks of the rich and the famous. Of course, the tabloids have been around for a long time, but they’re never as reliable or nearly as captivating as hearing the wild stories right from the horse’s mouth, which is usually the estranged wife or some delusional has-been.
There’s really nothing quite like a juicy rock ‘n’ roll memoir filled with bittersweet stories of what it was like to be part of the scene. For the most part, rock memoirs are written by rock stars themselves (usually the self-important narcissists) who seemingly just want to brag about the women they were with in their heyday.
Sometimes, though, one of the exes writes a memoir. Bobbie Brown was one of the biggest Sunset Strip sexpots of the 1980s. Anyone who couldn’t get enough of the drugs-and-hairspray cesspool of the ‘80s hair metal revolution would be happy to hear what Brown has to say.
She co-wrote her memoir (with Caroline Ryder) in 2013 and called it Dirty Rocker Boys: Love and Lust on the Sunset Strip. The book’s opening chapter starts with this:
“Wait, what happened? Last week, Tommy Lee was my fiancé. This week, he’s married. To Pamela Anderson.” It was February 1995, and Lee and Anderson had a shotgun wedding on the beach in Cancún, four days after his breakup with Brown.
Brown detailed her coping strategy, which involved (of course) all kinds of mind-altering substances. Her memoir’s pages are full of the whole sex-drugs-and-rock-and-roll kind of stuff. She even wrote a disclaimer of sorts, admitting that her book doesn’t offer much self-awareness or emotional depth.
But she does “promise that it will deliver incredible, highly uncensored entertainment.” Aside from all the highs (both literally and figuratively), including what it was like to flirt with Slash and go down on 19-year-old Leonardo DiCaprio, she details the grim moments, too. For instance, the death of her ex-husband Jani Lane.
But let’s start from the beginning…
Bobbie Jean Brown was born on October 7, 1969, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She was the eldest of four children, whose young parents divorced when she was a freshman in high school, and said her parents’ tumultuous relationship tortured her.
She eventually became a beauty pageant contestant and went on to win the Miss Louisiana Teen USA title in 1987 and represented Louisiana in the Miss Teen USA pageant that year. She also won the spokesmodel competition on Star Search a record 13 times. Soon enough, she started getting modeling gigs for Budweiser and other companies.
In 1990, Brown hosted the fashion show Preview: The Best of the New. You might have even seen her on Married… with Children as she was in three episodes. In the late ‘90s, she joined the TV infomercial train as a host, advertising the eight-CD set Big Rock: The ‘80s Generation.
TV wasn’t the only arena she dabbled in, though. She was also in a few films, including 1993’s Last Action Hero (in which fellow Miss Teen USA Bridgette Wilson played Arnold Schwarzenegger’s daughter). Later on, in 2009, Brown wrote and hosted the VH1 docuseries Do It for the Band: Women of the Sunset Strip.
Brown appeared in several music videos, including Great White’s Once Bitten, Twice Shy and House of Broken Love. She was in Hurricane’s I’m on to You and Louie Louie’s Sittin’ in the Lap of Luxury. But if anything made her famous, it was being cast as the girl in Warrant’s Cherry Pie video in 1990.
The now 51-year-old shot to fame after the music video was released. Her life, however, wasn’t a bowl of cherries, so to speak. Brown wrote her most recent memoir, Cherry on Top, after surviving a near-fatal fall in 2018.
“I’ve fallen down the stairs and almost killed myself,” she told Fox News. “The doctors said 50 percent of people who’ve had my type of fall and hit their head die instantly.” She explained that she landed headfirst into a table. “So I was very lucky.”
The incident left her “looking like the Elephant Man for the next three months,” as she put it. Thankfully, no permanent damage was done. Meanwhile, something deeper was changing within her. She said she would look in the mirror every day and say to herself, “What am I doing? What’s my purpose?”
Brown came to the decision that she needed to make a change and check off her bucket list. In addition to writing her second book, Brown has dabbled in stand-up comedy and started a podcast of her own (and really, who hasn’t these days?).
“Dating is probably the last thing on my list,” she stated. That’s coming from someone who had her share of exes – rockers and non-rockers alike. Her new book helped her process the grief she was experiencing for her ex-husband, Jani Lane, who died at 47 of alcohol poisoning in 2011.
Apart from the catharsis she felt from writing about her grief, she also revealed what it was like to be known solely as the Cherry Pie girl. For years, Brown resented her “video vixen” label due to the ever-present Cherry Pie music video.
It took years, but now she’s at peace with her most famous role. There was a time when she would react by saying, “Oh God, not that again.” After all, she’s done so many more things beyond that video. “It was bulls****,” she thought. But the older she got, the more she embraced it.
She may have resented the Cherry Pie aftermath, but she can’t fully hate it, considering it was the reason she met and fell in love with Jani Lane. Brown and Lane married on July 15, 1991, and a year later, they had a daughter they named Taylar Jayne Lane. By the following year, they were divorced.
Cherry Pie became Warrant’s signature song, and the video was so scandalous that it was banned in Canada. I mean, a smiling blonde dropping a piece of cherry pie onto her crotch and getting hosed down by the entire band with an oversized firehose is a little more than a double entendre.
The Cherry Pie album had another hit, too, I Saw Red, which was inspired by his stint in a psychiatric hospital. Why was he there? Well, it started when he walked in on his then-girlfriend in bed with his best friend. According to AllMusic, it was so traumatizing for Lane that he had a nervous breakdown.
He spent time recovering in a psychiatric hospital, which ultimately delayed the album’s completion. Lane later used the experience to write I Saw Red, which peaked at # 10 on the Billboard charts in February 1991.
In a 2011 interview, he mentioned that I Saw Red is a true story, “and I still hate the b***h.” Oh, but he added, “I’m sure she’s doing wonderful now.” And no, the cheating girlfriend wasn’t Bobbie Brown. Gossip forums, such as Dry Country and Metal Sludge, claim the girlfriend in question was singer Bekka Bramlett.
The best friend? That was Bon Jovi’s Richie Sambora. In another 2011 interview, Brown confirmed that Lane’s then-girlfriend was indeed Bramlett. Despite his hateful words for her, Lane and Bramlett remained friends throughout his life.
That sounds wild enough, but more notorious was Lane’s whirlwind relationship, marriage, and divorce of his first wife, Bobbie Brown. In 2011, Brown told Legendary Rock Interviews that Lane started pursuing her after making the Cherry Pie video, choosing to ignore the fact that she was taken.
At the time, she was dating Matthew Nelson of the band Nelson. Lane went on Howard Stern’s radio show and announced over the air: “Matthew Nelson, I don’t even care who you are or what you think. I’m gonna marry Bobbie Brown. I love her, and she is the one woman in the world for me.”
With a move like that, it’s no wonder Brown left Nelson for Lane. Brown told The New York Post how Lane then flew her to Louisiana for their first date to a concert. It was a match made in glam metal heaven. Four months later, the blonde couple was already expecting a baby.
After their wedding and the birth of Taylar, the problems started. “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.”
Brown was quite candid in her first memoir about her family and how her relationship with her father has affected some of her relationships over the years. In an interview with Legendary Rock Interviews, she admitted that she never consciously thought about the connection over the years, but, in retrospect, it does make sense to her.
On the other hand, she had stability with her stepdad. If she had been raised by her father with such stability, then her life would have likely been drastically different. And it can almost be proven…
Brown was raised in her father’s household, whereas her little brother was raised at her stepdad’s. According to Brown, he’s “a completely different soul, different temperament, everything.” She says he has no anger issues, is “chill,” and she believes his environment growing up had a lot to do with it.
Brown may not have been as chill as her younger brother, but she has nonetheless lived an interesting life. Besides the relationships with Tommy Lee and Jani Lane, she had her flings with other famous faces, including Leonardo DiCaprio and Kevin Costner.
The media framed it as though Bobbie Brown basically hooked up with everyone from Hollywood, but it’s not true. At least, that’s what Brown herself claims. The truth of the matter, she explained, is that there were a lot of “attempted hookups” on their part.
She also noted that they always turned out “really badly.” At the end of the day, the tabloids can say what they want and label her as a you-know-what. But, evidently, it doesn’t bother Brown because she knows the truth. Her intention was never to compile a list of men; her intention “was simply riding the wave of attention that I was getting.”
Her book Dirty Rocker Boys is pretty incriminating, but Brown was never worried that she was spilling too many beans. The way she sees it, she’s “just telling the truth” and giving her perspective on the way things happened – things she was involved in.
In her book, she gave details – both good and bad – about her dealings with the Nelson Brothers and Tommy Lee, yet she never received any backlash from them, “surprisingly.” She did mention, though, that before the memoir came out, there were some unhappy campers – people who knew they were going to be in the book.
There were some people (she didn’t mention who) that either didn’t want to be included in the book or were simply fearful of what she would say: “Then I heard from people like Athena Lee, Tommy Lee’s younger sister, who said something along the lines of, ‘Wow, you were much nicer about my brother than I expected.’”
To readers, it may seem like the book revolved around Tommy Lee, but when it comes down to it, the stories that play out in the book are all from that period when her heart was broken. It was her “downfall at that time,” as she put it.
Brown noted that her relationship with Lee wasn’t her highest priority – it’s just that it was the moment when she went “off the deep end for real.” Brown did write about Lee more than Lane in her memoir, but she did credit his influence on her and his band Warrant.
Bobbie saw him writing songs dealing with publishing; “he was a really prolific and creative guy.” Taylar, their daughter, turned out to be “really creative” as well, and Brown proudly mentioned that her daughter made the Dean’s list in college.
Brown revealed that she missed a bunch of opportunities, like an audition with Steven Spielberg to be in the film Hook. She also auditioned to be in Casino with Robert de Niro but didn’t get it. Brown said she had a record deal with Britney Spears’ label and was initially signed to it, but “screwed that up and then she got signed.”
She vaguely mentioned that she was supposed to be “in an Adam Sandler movie,” as well as on the cover of Playboy and “screwed that up,” without giving much of an explanation.
She did say, though, that she was living in regret for a decade, which was a “miserable place to be.” All the missed opportunities were a reminder of what she could have done and how “stupid” she was. She’s now appreciative of getting a second chance.
“I’ve been given this opportunity to come back,” she said happily. “Not everyone gets given that second chance, so I’m really grateful.” As she went through a period of things just falling into her lap, she naively figured the opportunities would keep coming.
In the interview, Brown said that it’s shocking to hear how much time has passed since Lane’s death, and if she stops to think about him or what they’re missing without him, it makes her and especially her daughter sad.
Lane had another daughter, Maddi, from another marriage, and the two half-sisters have become close.
Aside from the good, the bad, and the ugly relationships in Bobbie Brown’s life, she also has other gripping stories to tell, like her struggles with addiction, which she also details in her book.
Brown struggled for years with her addiction to methamphetamine and cocaine – a decade to be more or less precise. She admitted that she used the latter to lose weight swiftly before modeling shoots, as well as to numb any pain she was feeling emotionally. She went through several stints in rehab before finally getting sober in the 2000s.
Brown revealed another lesser-known addiction that she suffers from called Trichotillomania (a compulsive hair-pulling disorder). It’s something she developed in 2005 while she was involved in what she referred to as “the worst relationship of my entire life.”
A few years after she got sober, Brown became afflicted with Trichotillomania, which is essentially a stress response or a lack of ability to cope. Brown has a theory as to what triggered it in her case: “I began pulling in what was the most toxic relationship I had ever had in the past eight years.”
She emphasized the fact that she had “NEVER” pulled her hair before that. “It was the most traumatic, tumultuous, constant fighting, emotional, degrading… the worst relationship of my entire life.” It was then that she realized what she was doing. She didn’t reveal who the other half was in that toxic relationship, though…
As recently as 2020, Brown decided to finally come forward about something she had been hiding about Jani Lane’s past. What she divulged can, in part, explain why Lane ever turned to alcohol in an attempt to self-medicate in the first place.
When she was promoting her latest book, Cherry on Top, Brown told Fox News that toward the end of his life, Lane had confided in her that he was once drugged and assaulted by another band and their manager early in his career. It was devastating for Brown to hear Lane tell her his hidden truth.
“It was traumatizing to watch him reveal those things and how much it had affected his life up to that point.” Brown asserted that when they were married, she had no clue. It happened when he was just starting out on Sunset Strip. When he told her, she was crying with him.
Brown said she encouraged him to speak up and go public with his story, but he refused. In the interview with Fox News, Bobbie said that it “affected him greatly his whole life. It was part of the reason he drank. It’s sad, really.”
Lane felt completely emasculated and humiliated, which is why he never wanted to expose the truth. Brown explained that what he did instead was live with this anger inside. “He was raised to be a man, not to cry,” she said.
“I got his perspective from it,” she clarified, but she felt so hopeless for him, knowing that he felt as though he couldn’t say anything. Her story about Lane has possibly been verified by a 2004 recording retrieved by the website Metal Sludge in which Lane is heard saying, “I don’t care. I’ve been divorced, married, raped, I don’t care.”
He said it in response to a question about fighting with his band Warrant after leaving the group. An anonymous tip then came to Metal Sludge, which reported: “This actually happened and was very traumatic for him. He shared it with me one Thanksgiving at my house.”
The website reached out to a second anonymous source, who “also confirmed this to be true.” Lane is obviously no longer with us and can’t speak for himself, so the full story will never be told. It was, however, important for Brown to reveal it to the public, in honor of her ex-husband and as a message for other victims to get help.
She also admitted that she was wary of coming out with the information. Before she exposed his story to Fox News, she confessed that she has so much more to tell. “I have so much information that I haven’t really shared at this point, and I know that it would be compelling, but at the same time, it is also very scary.”
What she said was that she fears for her safety. “I have never stopped investigating, and the things that I’ve come to find out… people might say ‘She’s crazy, that’s crazy, blah, blah, blah.’”
Her own investigating has, as she put, put all the pieces of the puzzle together. Her intention, she mentioned, is to write another book “because I want to find out who basically….that’s all I want to say.”
Brown believes in spirits, which could be explained by her Louisiana upbringing. In fact, she even sought a medium to communicate with Lane – and people gave her sh** for it. “So many people are just closed off to the idea,” Brown explained.
When Legendary Rock Interviews asked her if she had any other “communications or weird happenstances” with Lane, she responded with an enthusiastic “Yes, insane! Crazy? Yes, but yet so unbelievably impossible to describe that it’s scary.”
Brown insisted that Lane is “okay with it now” – that he’s come to terms with it. According to Brown, he has a lot to say, and he says things “very directly.” She declared that people will think she’s crazy for saying it, but she doesn’t really care. “Basically, he wants me to let the world know what happened.”
In 2012, Brown joined the reality show Ex-Wives of Rock (which airs on the Fuse network). According to Brown, the show is “truly not scripted” as opposed to most of the “reality” shows out there these days. She also said that she and the other ex-wives are “legitimately looney” and have known each other for over 20 years.
Brown’s co-stars on the show are Athena Lee Kottak, Sharise Neil and Susan Blue Ashley Dixon. It never feels fake or forced; “it’s just us, and people can relate to that.” The way she sees it, there’s never a reason to force a strange situation onto them because they’re all naturally kooky anyways.
Being on the show has allowed Brown and the other wives to bond in a way they weren’t able to before. When she and Tommy Lee were dating, he kept Athena (his sister) and her at a distance from each other. Brown explained that she and Athena, as a result, didn’t have the chance to bond as they have on the show.
They actually didn’t speak for years because of the way her relationship with Lee ended. Athena is very loyal to him and Brown respected that. The two women are now closer than ever.