Lee was born in Calumet, Ohio, to Fred and Jeanette Merryweather on July 8, 1991. Her parents were both busy with their careers, so Lee spent a lot of time with sitters, watching movies. She loved watching the celebrities and learning how they lived.
She became so enthralled with the lives of stars that she dreamed of moving to California. She wasn't an actress but told friends she thought she could be an agent or "even better, someone who lives with the stars in their homes as their assistant. I could meet a lot of famous people doing that."
After she graduated from high school, her parents tried to get her to go to college, but Lee wasn't interested. She worked a series of jobs in Calumet but always got bored after a few weeks and quit or was fired.
Eventually, she convinced her parents to give her enough money to see if she could make it in Hollywood. They weren't optimistic about her success, but they were willing to give her the money in hopes she would get that silly dream out of her system and find a career that would give her a stable future.
After Lee got to Hollywood, she discovered it wasn't going to be as easy as she first thought. She couldn't find any movie stars who wanted to hire an inexperienced young lady as their assistant, so she found a job waitressing and waited for something to come along to move her up in the world.
One evening, one of her regular customers introduced her to his companion, a book agent named Victor Jennings. As she was taking their orders, she overheard Mr. Jennings say he was looking for an assistant. When she served their entrees, she brushed some lint from Mr. Jennings' shoulder and complimented him on his suit, but told him that a tie with a little silver in it would look better.
He seemed nonplussed at the unsolicited advice, so she quickly added that she'd heard he needed an assistant and thought she could be an asset to him. He didn't respond right away, but the next day, he came back to the restaurant and invited her to interview for the position.
When her shift ended, Lee met him at his hotel, and they discussed what would be expected of her. Although it wasn't the job she really wanted, and she didn't like the idea of relocating to Mississippi, she thought it could be a stepping-stone to something better, so she took the job when he offered it.
Victor Jennings was not an easy taskmaster, and she often put in 50 or more hours a week working for him, but traveling with Victor allowed Lee to meet some famous people, and she loved that.
The more time she spent with Victor, the more Lee found she didn't care for some of Victor's clients or for the way he made a living. She kept working for him anyway, hoping to make the connections she needed to break into the Hollywood scene.
When Victor was placed on house arrest, he relied on Lee even more to do the things he couldn't do anymore in addition to her usual responsibilities. One evening, when Lee took Victor some groceries, she discovered his body sprawled on the kitchen floor of his home and called 911.