22nd October 2020

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‘I never cried as much as I have in the last year’

CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 14: Inductee Ric Ocasek of The Cars and Paulina Porizkova attend 33rd Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at Public Auditorium on April 14, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Kevin Kane/Getty Images For The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)


Paulina Porizkova is spending her last hours in the NYC brownstone she shared with Ric Ocasek for 30 years.

The model, 55, posted a picture of herself in the now nearly bare brownstone. She was seated in front of the fireplace with most of their belongings now packed up and moved out. The wall-to-wall cheetah-print carpeting was the only real reminder of the home’s famous inhabitants, who moved into the posh, 5-bedroom home (with elevator!) as young lovers in 1989. The Cars frontman died there in Sept. 2019, two years after they separated though continued to share the house.

“Last two days in my house, It’s empty, cold and dirty,” Porizkova wrote. “I never cried as much as I have in the last year. I was never a crier. In fact, the opposite. I took a lot of care NEVER to be seen crying. This year has shown me I had tears to spare.”

Porizkova said she’s “having a bit of a crash” over the emotional moment and would be taking a break from Instagram. “I’m at the moment a permanent little gray cloud, and if I’m sick of hearing myself whine, I bet you are too. So many people out there with problems larger than mine. But it doesn’t make mine hurt less, you know?”

Some of Porizkova’s fellow models posted comments. Andie MacDowell recalled Porizkova being so “full of spirit” when they met as young models and urged her to get rest and take time out for herself. “Life is a journey,” MacDowell told her old friend. “This is just a door.”

And Helena Christensen asked Porizkova if she wanted to come to her weekend house in upstate New York to which Porizkova replied, “My upstate house is across the river from yours.”

Related: Paulina Porizkova shares photo of Ric Ocasek’s final resting place

Porizkova and Ocasek met on the set of the Cars’ video “Drive” in 1984. She was 18 and a rising star in the modeling world; he was 39 and married to his second wife. His divorce was finalized in 1988 and he and Porizkova married the next year. Just prior to their St. Barts wedding, they bought the brownstone in NYC’s Gramercy Park neighborhood, for $2.5 million. And it’s where they raised their two sons, Jonathan (born 1993) and Oliver (1999). (He has six sons total.)

The high-profile pair were NYC fixtures during their decades together and their split was a big surprise, as Porizkova announced in May 2018 that they had “peacefully separated” a year earlier. Despite the parting, they even continued making public appearances together.

They also continued to share their brownstone, but put it on the market, for $15 million, in early 2019. That September, he died unexpectedly at age 75 while recovering from surgery. (The coroner ruled that he died naturally of heart disease with pulmonary emphysema a contributing factor.) Porizkova found him deceased when she went to check on him in his bedroom.

While it seemed like they were an example of friendly exes, there was bitterness. Just weeks before he died, Ocasek, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018, cut Porizkova from his will, noting that they were divorcing and saying she “abandoned” him. (He also omitted two of his sons, though not ones with Porizkova, from his will.)

She has shared her grieving publicly over the last year on social media, even taking on trolls. In an interview on CBS Sunday Morning in March, Porizkova speculated that their 21-year age difference played a factor in their split, saying, “Suddenly in our marriage it seemed like only one of us wanted to be married, and that was me. I just know that it’s really hard to be married to somebody if you’re the only one putting in all the work. And maybe it was age; maybe he just was tired. Maybe I was too — maybe I took too much energy to love. I don’t know.” 

The brownstone was re-listed right before Ocasek died for $13.9 million and after several price cuts it sold for $10 million in September of this year. (See photos of it here in a less “empty, cold and dirty” state.) Porizkova wrote on Instagram — where she has been documenting her moving — that she’s happy with the buyers, saying the “spirit of art and love will stay right here where it belongs.”

Porizkova has spent most of the pandemic at her weekend house in upstate N.Y., but returned to NYC in September to begin “the process of letting go.”

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