Paulina Porizkova has revealed that she has reached a settlement with her late husband Ric Ocasek’s estate after he cut her out of his will, leaving her without any money when he died in 2019.
The supermodel, 56, opened up about the settlement on the Los Angeles Magazine podcast The Originals, which she recorded in her home last month. She didn’t share how much money she was getting, but she said it was the amount owed to her.
‘I know exactly how much I’m owed under New York law, how much is due to me. And I am getting it. The estate is settling with me,’ she told the podcast’s host, Andrew Goldman.
Over: Paulina Porizkova, 56, revealed that she has finally reached a settlement with her late husband Ric Ocasek’s estate after he secretly cut her out of his will weeks before his death
Loss: Porizkova and Ocasek were separated and going through a divorce when she found him dead in their Manhattan townhouse in September 2019 at age 75
Porizkova and The Cars frontman 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, leaving her without any money to live off of, including her own earnings.
‘It completely sideswiped me, I had no idea,’ she said. ‘I didn’t know how to make heads or tails out of anything. The shock of finding him and the grief of him being dead and then “Oh, guess what? You get no money. He wants you to have know money and he disinherited his two oldest sons.”‘
Ocasek left behind six sons, two from each of his three marriages. His oldest sons from his first marriage to Constance Campbell, Chris and Adam Otcask, were also left out of his will.
‘So, I was really messed up, and I won’t ever have the answers because we can’t ask him,’ said Porizkova, who shared she is close with both Chris and Adam’s families.
Mystery: Porizkova didn’t share how much money she was getting, but she said it was the amount owed to her under New York law, which is one-third of Ocasek’s assets
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
The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit alum explained that up until three weeks before her husband’s surgery, she was set to inherit everything, which she admitted ‘wouldn’t have been fair at all’ because they were going through a divorce.
‘I’m totally fine with inheriting a half, which I thought was mine,’ she said. ‘Turns out it’s not a half under New York law, it’s only a third, but still, you know, I’m fine.’
Porizkova noted reports that Ocasek was only worth $5 million at the time of his death were ‘bulls**t.’ When Goldman asked if the low number was ‘for tax purposes,’ she claimed ‘it was.’
‘In the very early days, they just had to put down a number,’ she said. ‘So they just put down a low sum, so that it wouldn’t seem like he was maybe holding away a lot of money from me? I don’t know. I’m not sure.’
After Porizkova explained that she was getting the amount that was owed to under New York law, Goldman bluntly asked, ‘How much is it?’ However, Porizkova declined to give an exact number.
‘That I cannot tell you, [but] I am gonna be fine. I am gonna be fine. … I settled last week. There you go. … I settled last week with the estate. They were very fair,’ she said. ‘They gave me what is mine under New York state law, and we’re done.’
The model stressed that the $5 million number was ‘just a sum that somebody put in for some reason.’
Porizkova believes Ocasek’s lawyers were the ones who pushed him to make the last-minute changes to his will.
‘My husband had some lawyers, and he was supposed to go through surgery. … They just cobbled together a really fast, kind of stupid thing,’ she said.
‘I don’t think my husband had the brain capacity at the time to figure out what he was really doing. … He was a bit of a hypochondriac anyway. … I think he signed a piece of paper without spending a lot of time thinking about it.’
Porizkova was recovering from surgery at their shared Gramercy Park home when he passed away unexpectedly.
‘Nobody expected him to die — nobody, absolutely nobody,’ she said.
The mother of two explained that she and her estranged husband were still living under the same roof at the time of his death, saying: ‘It was a nice big house.’
Porizkova, who sold the Gramercy Park townhouse for $10 million in September 2020, noted that the property was ‘underpriced by so much’ because she had to sell during the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘We had separate bedrooms for, like, five years at the point of his death. We hadn’t been married. We were still living together, but, no, we hadn’t been a couple. We were family,’ she said.
‘I felt really bad about leaving him in this big, old, empty house,’ she added. ‘I thought I was being nice. I wanted to keep taking care of him because I knew he needed help.
‘He was so used to having things done for him, having been such a big star and having been married to me. … I loved him. I didn’t want him to have a hard time.’
Porizkova was only 19 when she met Ocasek on the set of the music video for The Cars’ hit ‘Drive’ in 1984. They wed five years later after they met, when she was 24 and he was 45. They went on to have two sons, Jonathan and Oliver.
In 2017, they quietly separated after nearly 30 years of marriage.
‘After we had separated and after I had announced our separation publicly, I did go in fall in love,’ Porizkova said. ‘But that is still not abandonment. I was absolutely present and Ric knew.’
She refused to declined about the man she was seeing, but she explained that Ocasek knew him and their children met him when their father was still alive.
‘Ric was very much a part of this new world that we were inhabiting,’ she said.
Porizkova briefly dated Men in Black writer Ed Solomon in May 2019 while separated from Ocasek. They were together for several months before quietly breaking up. It’s unclear if he was the man she was referring to.
The cover star thought it was possible that Ocasek claimed she had abandoned him because she fell in love with someone else after they had separated, but she pointed out that isn’t the legal definition of abandonment.
‘It doesn’t make sense in a way because when you claim abandonment in the law, that means this person has not been present in the last year and you are unable to get a hold of them,’ she explained. ‘So that was a lie.
‘And I think he might have felt abandoned, but I’m sorry you can’t not give your wife money because you feel she abandoned you.’