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Paulina Porizkova regrets giving late husband Ric Ocasek control of her money

Paulina Porizkova has once again opened up about her financial mistakes, recalling how people in the fashion industry thought of her as a ‘vapid wife of a rockstar’ because she let her husband Ric Ocasek control her money.  

The 55-year-old model took to Instagram on Tuesday to share a photo collage featuring dozens of her magazine covers, admitting that she didn’t have ‘any sense of financial worth’ at the height of her career.  

‘I had hundreds of covers, I had several contracts — most notably the largest cosmetic contract then signed — I had self-produced calendars and posters,’ she wrote in the post, which was a part of her partnership with UBS bank.

Mistake: Paulina Porizkova, 55, has opened up about how she gave her late husband Ric Ocasek control of her life by allowing him to control her finances 

Candid: The model share a photo collage on Tuesday featuring dozens of magazines that she had covered throughout her career, saying she didn't have 'any sense of financial worth'

Candid: The model share a photo collage on Tuesday featuring dozens of magazines that she had covered throughout her career, saying she didn’t have ‘any sense of financial worth’

‘I was the first model to have both an American Vogue cover and a Sports Illustrated cover, which allowed me to straddle the two worlds between high fashion and cheesecake. I had been working as a model every day from the age of fifteen.

‘But the one thing I didn’t have — was any sense of financial worth.’

Paulina explained that her family didn’t have a lot of money when she was growing up, so she never learned how to manage her finances when she started out as a teen model.  

‘Having never been taught how to handle money, I just handed it over to professionals and let it out of my mind,’ she recalled. ‘I’d call them perhaps to ask if I could make a larger purchase, and that was about it.’

The supermodel didn’t have a prenup when she married her late husband Ric in 1989, something she openly regrets following his death. 

‘Once I got married, I handed even that little responsibility to my husband. When it came to money, I not only allowed, but encouraged people to treat me like a large baby,’ she said. 

Embarrassing: Paulina said people in the fashion industry would 'lose respect' for her and think she was the 'vapid wife of a rockstar' when they found out Ric handled her money

Embarrassing: Paulina said people in the fashion industry would ‘lose respect’ for her and think she was the ‘vapid wife of a rockstar’ when they found out Ric handled her money 

Looking back: Last week, Paulina Porizkova shared side-by-side shots of herself as a fresh-faced teen model (pictured) and now

Looking back: Last week, Paulina Porizkova shared side-by-side shots of herself as a fresh-faced teen model and now (pictured)

Looking back: Last week, Paulina Porizkova shared side-by-side shots of herself as a fresh-faced teen model (left) and now (right)

Paulina explained that even though she took ‘100 percent responsibility in everything else,’ she had ‘zero responsibility’ when it came to her finances.  

‘I had no idea that by doing this, people (biz) would lose respect for me, and think of me as the vapid wife of a rockstar,’ she said. 

‘By letting our partners control our money, we are being controlled. Real love is respect between the two, and you can’t respect someone over whom you have power.’ 

Last week, she candidly discussed how she unknowingly gave up the last years of her childhood to her pursue her modeling career.

She shared side-by-side shots of herself as a fresh-faced teen model and now while recalling how she enlisted other people to manage her money for her, a choice she now regrets.  

‘What was supposed to be just a summer job in Paris the year I turned fifteen, became my life’s career,’ she wrote.  

Strike a pose: In the caption, Paulina (pictured in 1986) recalled how she had worked as a model in Paris the summer after she had turned 15 and it ended up becoming her life's career

Strike a pose: In the caption, Paulina (pictured in 1986) recalled how she had worked as a model in Paris the summer after she had turned 15 and it ended up becoming her life’s career

Candid: The model admitted that she unknowingly gave up her childhood and teenage years to work, and while she doesn't regret her choice, she does regret not handling her own money

Candid: The model admitted that she unknowingly gave up her childhood and teenage years to work, and while she doesn’t regret her choice, she does regret not handling her own money 

‘When I was due to return back to school in September, I took stock and…realized I had made more money in one summer than all the babysitting and newspaper selling and grocery store clerking I had ever done, combined. So I stayed.’

Paulina said she was ‘in the right spot at the right time’ and started making more money than she could have ever imagined, but she had no idea how to manage her own finances because she ‘grew up with a single parent in a household with no money.’

‘I handed it all off to other people to manage, trusting others would do the right thing for me. Sometimes they did. Sometimes they didn’t,’ she recalled. ‘I didn’t know then that I sold my childhood and my teenage years. 

‘I am not one for regrets. I like myself,’ she added. ‘It took all my mistakes to get me to be the person that I am. But I sure as hell wish I had learned to take charge of my money instead of handing over the responsibility of MYSELF to others.’

Paulina has been sharing the sponsored posts about her financial regrets as part of her new partnership with UBS bank.  

Candid: Paulina opened up about her financial mistakes during a recent conversation with UBS as part of her paid partnership with the bank, saying she wished she had signed a prenup

Candid: Paulina opened up about her financial mistakes during a recent conversation with UBS as part of her paid partnership with the bank, saying she wished she had signed a prenup 

She also recently opened up about her money mistakes during a two-part conversation with Paula Polito, vice chairwoman of UBS Global Wealth Management.  

When asked if she had regretted not signing prenup when she got married in her early 20s, she let out a maniacal laugh and made a face, saying: ‘Uh, yeah.’ 

‘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.’ 

Memories: The supermodel met her late husband Ric on the set of the music video for The Cars' hit 'Drive' in 1984 (pictured) when she was only 19

Memories: The supermodel met her late husband Ric on the set of the music video for The Cars’ hit ‘Drive’ in 1984 (pictured) when she was only 19 

Honest: Paulina (pictured with her husband in 1990) said Ric thought a prenup was a 'bad omen' and 'romance eclipsed any financial thinking' on her part

Honest: Paulina (pictured with her husband in 1990) said Ric thought a prenup was a ‘bad omen’ and ‘romance eclipsed any financial thinking’ on her part

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.

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.’     

Family: Their finances were merged throughout their 28-year marriage, and they had two sons together, Jonathan, 27, and Oliver, 22 (pictured in 2016)

Family: Their finances were merged throughout their 28-year marriage, and they had two sons together, Jonathan, 27, and Oliver, 22 (pictured in 2016)

Loss: After Ric's death in September 2019, Paulina learned he had cut her out of his will, claiming she had 'abandoned' him, leaving her without any money to live off of

Loss: After Ric’s death in September 2019, Paulina learned he had cut her out of his will, claiming she had ‘abandoned’ him, leaving her without any money to live off of

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, including her previous earnings. 

‘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. 

Moving on: Paulina sold the townhouse where she lived with her late husband for three decades for $10 million in September

Moving on: Paulina sold the townhouse where she lived with her late husband for three decades for $10 million in September 

Back and forth: Paulina has been alternating between staying at her home in upstate New York (pictured) and her apartment in Manhattan

Back and forth: Paulina has been alternating between staying at her home in upstate New York and her apartment in Manhattan. She recently got her hair done while in the city (pictured)

Back and forth: Paulina has been alternating between staying at her home in upstate New York (left) and her apartment in Manhattan. She recently got her hair done while in the city (right)

Racy: Paulina recently shared a nude photo of herself that was taken in her bedroom in her new apartment

Racy: Paulina recently shared a nude photo of herself that was taken in her bedroom in her new apartment 

‘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.’

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.’ 


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