Paulina Porizkova has candidly opened up about the complicated process of grieving for her late ex-husband Ric Ocasek, revealing that she still feels ‘love’ for the Cars rocker, even after their split – and his controversial decision to write her out of his will.
The 55-year-old supermodel shared a touching Instagram tribute to Ocasek, who passed away in September 2019 from complications related to cardiovascular disease, on Valentine’s Day when she posted a sweet throwback snap of the couple towards the start of their relationship.
In the caption, Paulina opened up about her relationship with the musician, from whom she separated in 2018, explaining that – despite their tumultuous divorce – she still has ‘love’ for him, and remains ‘grateful’ for their time together.
Looking back: Paulina Porizkova opened up about her complicated grieving process in a touching Valentine’s Day tribute to her late ex-husband Ric Ocasek
Candid: In the post, the 55-year-old supermodel said she still ‘loves’ the Cars rocker, despite the fact that they had separated
‘When someone you love dies, you’re suddenly plunged into knowledge of the finite,’ she wrote. ‘At least it did for me. Yes, we were separated, yes, we were getting divorced, but I knew love didn’t die with a divorce.
‘We were not just husband and wife, we were family. I thought we would go on loving each other for the rest of our lives – having no idea how short of a time that would be. But it turns out love doesn’t go away with death either.
‘I’m deeply grateful for the time we spent together and soon, even the lessons I now have to learn the hard way.’
She concluded the post by sharing one of the most valuable lessons she has learned in the wake of Ocasek’s death.
‘Most of all – Time is precious,’ she added. ‘Let’s use it well by loving and accepting love to the brim of the containers and dispensers of love that we are. Happy Valentines to you.’
The post comes just days after Paulina revealed that she was left with ‘nothing to live on’ after her ex-husband’s death – and was forced to ask friends to buy her groceries for a year because of Ocasek’s decision to remove her from his will.
Paulina opened up about her financial mistakes during a two-part conversation with Paula Polito, vice chairwoman of UBS Global Wealth Management, as part of her paid partnership with the bank.
When asked if she had regretted not signing prenup when she got married in her early 20s, Paulina let out a maniacal laugh and made a face, saying: ‘Uh, yeah.’
Speaking out: Paulina’s heartfelt tribute was shared just days after she revealed she had been left ‘with nothing to live on’ when Ocasek cut her out of his will
‘Now if I had a daughter, any of my goddaughters or granddaughters or any of the young women I know…if there’s one good thing I could do for them is to let them hear my story of how romance eclipsed any financial thinking and what a bad idea that is,’ she added.
Paulina explained that her family never talked about money when she was growing up because they didn’t really have any. She started modeling when she was 15, and her agency had her hire a business manager to take care of her finances.
She was only 19 when she met her late husband on the set of the music video for The Cars’ hit ‘Drive’ in 1984. He was considerably older, and she felt he was wiser because of his age.
‘I had this sort of idea that he knew everything about the world and his word was the word of God, and I should just sort of listen to what he said because, obviously, he had the wisdom of living that I hadn’t had,’ she said. ‘And he reminded of that every of often, that he knows better because he’s older.’
Paulina was pulling in about $6 million a year at the time, but she was never considered the breadwinner.
‘From the very beginning, it always seemed like it didn’t matter how much money I made. It was “hobby” money and his money was the “real” money,’ she recalled.
She felt it would be ‘unromantic’ to bring up finances in any way, saying she thought it put their relationship ‘into a sort of a calculated romance rather than just love and passion.’
Paulina and Ric wed five years later after they met, when she was 24 and he was 45.
Loss: After his death, Paulina learned The Cars frontman had cut her out of his will, claiming she had ‘abandoned’ him, leaving her without any money to live off of
Family: Their finances were merged throughout their 28-year marriage, and they had two sons together, Jonathan, 27, and Oliver, 22 (pictured in 2016)
She said that before they got married, Ric had told her that he thought signing a prenup was a ‘bad omen’ and meant that they thought their marriage wouldn’t last. ‘I was stupid,’ she said with a laugh. ‘It was incredibly naive of me.’
Their finances were merged throughout their 28-year marriage, and they had two sons together — Jonathan, 27, and Oliver, 22. She noted that she still had access to money after they announced their separation in 2018.
However, that all changed when Ric died in their Manhattan townhouse in September 2019 at age 75. She learned he had cut her out of his will, claiming she had ‘abandoned’ him, leaving her without any money to live off of.
Home sweet home: After selling the New York townhouse that the couple shared for $10 million, Paulina is now living in an apartment in the city
‘I got two mortgaged houses and the pension, but no way to pay for anything,’ she said of her financial struggles the year after his death. ‘So obviously things had to be sold, but until they got sold, I had nothing to live on. I literally went through a year of asking my friends to buy us groceries. It was not a good position to be in.’
In September, Paulina sold the Gramercy Park townhouse where they had lived for more than 30 years for $10 million. She still has her home in upstate New York, and she recently moved into a rental apartment in Manhattan.
More than a year later, Paulina said she still isn’t sure if he did this to her intentionally or he was preoccupied with his health and wasn’t paying attention when someone slipped him the paper to sign.
‘That’s my seesaw between grief and rage.’ she said. ‘And you know what? I’ll never get an answer to that. That is something I will never know, and I have to come to terms with it. That’s what I’m sort of doing now, forgiving him.’
Paulina, as Ric’s widow, may be entitled under New York law to an ‘elective share’ of his estate because they were not legally divorced when he died.
Ric specifically addressed the rule in his will, stating: ‘Even if I should die before our divorce is final…Paulina is not entitled to any elective share…because she has abandoned me.’
Helping hand: The fashion star revealed that she her friends had to buy her groceries for a year after Ocasek’s death because she didn’t have enough money to live on
However, unless it can be proven in court that she did abandon him, she will likely be entitled to a one-third share of the musician’s assets, which are listed as $5 million in ‘copyrights,’ $100,000 in ‘tangible personal property,’ and $15,000 in cash.
Paulina explained that while she has been angry with her late husband, she takes full responsibility for her financial woes.
‘What happened to me, it seemed like it was so easily preventable,’ she said. ‘And it was based on not misfortune, it was based on my own stupidity. It wasn’t that I had an evil husband. It wasn’t that things conspired against me, this is literally, I have nobody to blame for this except for myself.’
Paulina stressed that she is a ‘perfect example of a cautionary tale,’ and in a follow-up conversation, she said she has completely changed her mind about financial conversations not being romantic.
‘The most romantic and best way to start a marriage is to sit down and talk about your financials,’ she said. ‘Because that means you really care and respect what the other person thinks, and you’re not discounting their worth.’
However, she admitted that her newfound financial worth has affected her dating life in a small but noticeable way.
‘Men my age, they still get a little discomfited when I pick the up check.’ she said. ‘If I decide to pick up the check, I can tell I’ve just emasculated them. It’s not super sexy, I guess.’