Supermodel Paulina Porizkova opens up about how her late husband Ric Ocasek was ‘obsessed’ with her and controlled her life, saying he told her what to wear and what jobs to do
Paulina Porizkova has opened up about her late husband Ric Ocasek’s ‘obsession’ with her, saying he controlled her life during their marriage by telling her what to wear and do.
The supermodel, 56, shared intimate details about their relationship on the latest episode of The Conversation with Amanda de Cadenet podcast, recalling how she fell in love with The Cars frontman at the height of his fame.
Porizkova was only 19 when she met Ocasek on the set of the music video for the band’s hit ‘Drive’ in 1984. They wed five years later, when she was 24 and he was 45.
‘I construed his interest as love, but for him, I think it was more of an obsession,’ she told De Cadenet. ‘He was obsessed with me, and because he was obsessed with me, it felt like the ultimate love.
‘Like he didn’t want me to do anything. He didn’t want me to go anywhere. He wanted me to be within his circle at all times. I was his soul emotional provider for everything, and I confused that with love.
Candid: Paulina Porizkova, 56, shared intimate details about her marriage to her late husband Ric Ocasek on the latest episode of The Conversation with Amanda de Cadenet podcast
Opening up: Porizkova told De Cadenet that Ocasek was ‘obsessed’ with her, and she misconstrued that as love
Memories: ‘He took me under his wing, he told me what to wear, he told me what to do,’ she recalled. ‘I conformed to his wishes because not doing so would risk losing his love’
‘I thought that that’s what love was,’ she explained, ‘to be sort of this treasured object that you won’t let out of your sight.’
Porizkova compared Ocasek to the Greek mythological character Pygmalion, a sculptor who fell in love with a statue he had carved.
‘He took me under his wing, he told me what to wear, he told me what to do,’ she recalled. ‘I conformed to his wishes because not doing so would risk losing his love and his love was more important to me than any career or any friends or anything I wanted to read or do.
‘Of course, he was the most important man in my life, so I did everything as he desired for many, many years. And when I no longer did, that’s when things started going not so well.’
Porizkova pointed out that she was bound to grow up and try to find her own way considering she was only 19 when they met, but it was a ‘turn off’ for her husband.
‘I didn’t realize for a very long time that when you are a treasured possession, opposed to as a person who is loved, you don’t get change, you don’t get to grow, you don’t get to get older,’ she said. ‘You are very limited in your usefulness. You have to be the person that they’re obsessed with.’
The model, who was born in Czechoslovakia, explained that the controlling aspects of her relationship didn’t match her upbringing in Sweden, where there was no question that women were equal to men.
‘It was a collective thing that just stuck with me forever, and I still feel that way, which, of course, is remarkable then that me, self-proclaimed feminist, goes and marries a guy who tells her how to dress,’ she said.
Memories: Porizkova was only 19 when she met Ocasek on the set of the music video for The Cars’ hit ‘Drive’ in 1984. They married five years later when she was 24 and he was 45
Back in the day: The supermodel noted that Ocasek (pictured in 1986) was at the height of his fame when they fell in love, and she craved his attention
Mythology: Porizkova compared Ocasek (pictured together in 1990) to the Greek mythological character Pygmalion, a sculptor who fell in love with a statue he had carved
When asked how she reconciled her decision to stay in that type of marriage, she admitted it ‘was not that hard to make peace with’ because it was what she wanted at the time.
‘I feel like I wanted that so desperately. I wanted that kind of attention. I wanted that kind of love. I wanted everything that he gave me, and he gave me a lot for many, many years,’ she explained.
‘There was a part of my life where, OK, so I didn’t get to do the movies I wanted to do and I didn’t get to have the career I wanted to have, but I had what I had what I thought was the most important thing in the world, which was love.’
Porizkova noted that Ocasek was also a good father to their sons, Jonathan, 28, and Oliver, 23, in a way that he wasn’t with his other children from his previous two marriages.
‘By the time we had children, he had already had four, and he didn’t, perhaps, do the world’s best job parenting those four,’ she said. ‘And I think when we had our children he felt like they were an extension of him and an extension of me, and therefore those were the kids he was going to get it right on. And he did.’
Porizkova stressed that she ‘put everything’ into her marriage and wouldn’t have given up on it if he would have communicated with her more.
‘I was willing to stay with my husband forever, even with things not being great and with him wanting to sleep in separate bedrooms and with him not paying much attention to me,’ she insisted.
‘I just needed him to talk to me. I just needed him to communicate and go, “You know, I still love you.” I would ask him, “Is it health related? Why don’t you want me anymore?”‘
Difficult: Porizkova said she eventually grew up and tried to find her own way, considering she was only 19 when she met Ocasek (pictured in 1996), but it was a ‘turn off’ for her husband
Hard to handle: Porizkova (pictured in 2003) stressed that she ‘put everything’ into her marriage and wouldn’t have given up on it if he would have communicated with her more
Family: The mom of two noted that Ocasek was a good father to their sons, Jonathan, 28, and Oliver, 23, in a way that he wasn’t with his other children from his previous two marriages
The Sports Illustrated alum said Ocasek would respond by telling her she was ‘too miserable,’ asking: ‘Why can’t you just be happy.’
‘That’s not communicating. That’s not talking. That’s not understanding each other,’ she noted. ‘He just wanted me to smile and kind of leave him to his own devices.’
Porizkova said she never stopped loving Ocasek and ‘couldn’t conceive of a life without him,’ even when they quietly separated in 2017 after nearly 30 years of marriage.
‘I kept saying, “Look, you know, I want to be close to you. I want to be able to help you out when you need help. Let’s get apartments next to each other so that the kids don’t have to choose. Let’s still do family vacations, family Christmas, family Easter. Let’s just keep sharing everything,”‘ she recalled.
Porizkova explained that she only separated from Ocasek because she couldn’t ‘deal with feeling so lonely and undesirable as a woman,’ saying it was making her ‘too sad.’
‘I thought he was on board. I actually thought he was on board. That’s where I am a little naïve because I thought that he wanted the same thing.’
They were separated and going through a divorce when she found him dead in their $10 million Manhattan townhouse in September 2019 at age 75.
The next day, she learned he had cut her out of his will just weeks before, claiming she had ‘abandoned’ him. He left her without any money to live off of, including her own earnings.
Loss: Porizkova, who has been candid with her grief on line, was in the process of divorcing Ocasek when she found him dead in their Manhattan townhouse in September 2019 at age 75
Porizkova, who now wears and does whatever she wants, learned Ocasek had cut her out of his will. She settled with his estate last month and was granted one-third of his assets
Back to dating: Porizkova’s first public relationship following Ocasek’s death was with screenwriter-director Aaron Sorkin, whom she attended the Oscars with last spring
The rocker’s oldest sons from his first marriage to Constance Campbell, Chris and Adam Otcask, were also left out of his will.
‘I thought he was a really good man, complicated, but a good man. I thought more than anything that he loved me too,’ she told De Cadenet. ‘Despite the fact that he didn’t necessarily want to be a husband anymore, I still thought he loved me the way I loved him. And I think that’s where I might have been wrong.’
Porizkova pointed out that they were going through a divorce at the time, and while she didn’t expect him to leave her everything, she thought she would have at least gotten half of his estate.
‘The fact that he wanted me to get nothing, that was shocking [and] heartbreaking,’ she said, adding: ‘It just completely blew up my world and everything I knew.
‘It’s a betrayal. It’s a betrayal of my trust and my love and everything I put into him for years and years and years. And I have no way of knowing what possessed him to do this.’
Ocasek changed his will three weeks before he died, and Porizkova believes his lawyers were the ones who influenced him to do so. She likes to think ‘he would have fixed it if he had lived.’
Last month, she revealed she had reached a settlement with her late husband’s estate, saying she would be receiving what was owed to her per New York state law, which was one-third of Ocasek’s assets.
‘I hope it wasn’t really his choice,’ she said of the will. ‘I hope that he went and did it without actually intending to hurt me, but I don’t know.’
Porizkova’s first public relationship following Ocasek’s death was with screenwriter-director Aaron Sorkin, whom she attended the Oscars with last spring. The outing was later revealed to be their second date.
The model announced their split on Instagram in July after roughly three months together, and she has since rejoined the dating app Hinge.