Tommy Lee accused of sexual assault in a helicopter

Tommy Lee in 2019
(Image credit: Emma McIntyre)

Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee has been accused of sexual assault. The complaint, which was filed by plaintiff Jane Doe in a Los Angeles court on Friday, has been seen by both Rolling Stone and the Los Angeles Times, and alleges that the assault occurred during a helicopter trip in 2003.

The lawsuit details how the plaintiff had become friendly with Lee's personal helicopter pilot, David Martz, and was invited on board his craft for what she believed would be an aerial trip around San Diego County. She accepted the offer, not knowing that Lee was on board, and the lawsuit alleges Martz "pulled out alcohol he had stored in the helicopter and began to mix drinks” within minutes of becoming airborne. 

The complaint goes on to claim that Martz and Lee, in addition to drinking, also snorted cocaine and smoked marijuana during the flight, and that the plaintiff was pressured into joining the pair in the cockpit.   

“At one point, Lee penetrated plaintiff with his fingers while fondling her breasts. Lee then pulled down his pants and attempted to force plaintiff’s head toward his genitals," the complaint alleges. "By this point, plaintiff was in tears, but she had nowhere to go – she was trapped with little mobility to leave the cockpit."

The lawsuit also accuses Lee of “forcibly groping, kissing and penetrating her [the plaintiff] with his fingers, and attempting to force her to perform oral copulation."

Lee has not commented on the lawsuit, which names Mayhem Touring, Tommy Lee Inc., A Natural High Helicopters and Social Helicopters as defendants, and seeks damages for "sexual assault, gender violence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence."

Martz, who lost his pilot's licence three times over the course of career – most recently in 2009, after being found to have received oral sex from adult film actress Puma Swede while flying a helicopter – was killed in 2015, when the plane he was piloting crashed in Santa Barbara County. At the time of his death, he did not have medical clearance to fly, and was under investigation for falsifying Federal Aviation Authority documentation in relation to two drink-driving convictions.   

In 1998, Lee was sentenced to six months in Los Angeles county jail after kicking his then-wife Pamela Anderson while she was holding the couple's two-year-old son. He pleaded no contest to a felony charge of spousal battery.

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.