Paulina Porizkova opens up about complex grief over death of Ric Ocasek

Paulina Porizkova has opened the grief and anger she continues to struggle with following her estranged husband Ric Ocasek’s death, saying she believes ‘he made a mistake’ that ‘he didn’t live to correct’ when he cut her out of his will. 

The 56-year-old model, who recently went public with her relationship with screenwriter-director Aaron Sorkin, detailed the complex feelings she still has for her late husband in the final installment of the video series she filmed for Yahoo Life, during which she also recalled the ‘nightmare’ moment she found his lifeless body in their Manhattan home.

‘After having spent 35 years with him, it sort of felt like I was missing an arm or a leg. Without him I had lost half of my identity,’ she explained. ‘I think of Ric every day… sometimes angrily. 

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Candid: Paulina Porizkova detailed the complex feelings she still has for her late husband Ric Ocasek in the final installment of the video series she filmed for Yahoo Life!

Candid: Paulina Porizkova detailed the complex feelings she still has for her late husband Ric Ocasek in the final installment of the video series she filmed for Yahoo Life!

Honest: The 56-year-old said she thinks of The Cars frontman 'every day... sometimes angrily'

Honest: The 56-year-old said she thinks of The Cars frontman ‘every day… sometimes angrily’

‘But as time has gone by, I think about him with more and more tenderness,’ she added. ‘He made a mistake, but then he didn’t live to correct it, and that’s not his fault. And I’m going to choose to go with that because there is nobody to tell me different.’

Paulina was the one who found The Cars frontman dead in their shared Manhattan townhouse in September 2019. She spoke to Yahoo Life about the moment she walked into his room and realized he wasn’t breathing. 

‘I remember thinking, “Oh, they never show this part in movies” — like one of the insane thoughts that just flitters by you. I saw what happened. I felt his cheek while thinking, “Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God,”‘ she recalled. 

‘And in my mind, I kind of calmly walked out of the room and went downstairs and told the boys [sons Jonathan, 27, and Oliver, 22] what had happened, but instead I started wailing and my legs gave out and I couldn’t walk, so I had to crawl downstairs on all fours. 

‘And this is what I found to be really amazing, and in hindsight, you really don’t know how you’re going to react.’

While mourning the rocker over the past year and a half, she has battled depression, anxiety, and rage after learning he had cut her out of his will — leaving her without any money, including her own earnings as a model. 

Memories: Paulina was only 19 when she met her late husband on the set of the music video for The Cars' hit 'Drive' in 1984 (pictured), and they wed five years later

Memories: Paulina was only 19 when she met her late husband on the set of the music video for The Cars’ hit ‘Drive’ in 1984 (pictured), and they wed five years later 

Paulina recently revealed that she was so strapped for cash following his death that her friends had to buy her food to live off of. 

This past September, she sold the New York City townhouse where she and Ric had lived for more than 30 years for $10 million. She still has her home in upstate New York and now lives in a rental apartment in Manhattan. 

The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover star spoke to Yahoo Life! about her decision to be open about her grief with her nearly 400,000 Instagram followers.   

‘We all feel the same things, but our reactions are different. For me, I’m not going to allow anything to fester in dark corners. I will sweep out the dark corners, which are secrets. I don’t want to be a part of that anymore,’ she explained. 

‘So for me to be public about my feelings and about how it feels, and then understanding that there’s a whole community of women that feel a similar way and that connect to me because of shared trauma or shared pain, it’s really rewarding because then you don’t feel so alone.’

Paulina noted that grieving can be ‘really lonely’ because other people eventually ‘get bored’ and ‘sick of you talking about the same thing forever.’   

Hard: Paulina (pictured with Ric in 1990) said losing Ric felt like 'missing an arm or leg'

Hard: Paulina (pictured with Ric in 1990) said losing Ric felt like ‘missing an arm or leg’

Support system: Paulina and Ric have two sons together: Jonathan, 27, and Oliver, 22. The family is pictured in 2016

Support system: Paulina and Ric have two sons together: Jonathan, 27, and Oliver, 22. The family is pictured in 2016

‘So when they get sick of you talking about it, then it is just you and your thoughts,’ she said. ‘And so I’ve found it really helpful to communicate with people online that were in similar positions where we can say, “I’m not alone, and you’re not alone.”‘ 

Paulina, who said she feels like she is ‘in a much stronger position’ than she was before, continued the discussion about grief on Instagram. 

‘Grieving to me is, unlike heartbreak — which just leaves you completely raw and exposed — grief is almost like a time-release,’  she wrote. ‘It’s measured out to you in doses where you are able to still function to a certain extent. You can go numb — or at least I did, for a large part of the aftermath.’

She recalled how people would speak to her, and she wouldn’t be able to understand them, saying it was like they ‘were speaking a totally different language.’  

‘And this is of course when you have to deal with lawyers and deal with money and accountants and figure out what’s supposed to happen and then make decisions about this and that — and I remember thinking, “I don’t even know what you’re saying, so how can you expect me to make any sort of a decision?”‘

At the end of her post, she noted that while she appears to be doing well and is now dating her Oscar-winning beau Aaron, she is still mourning Ric’s death. 

Looking back: The mother-of-two believes 'he made a mistake' that 'he didn't live to correct' when he cut her out of his will and left her without any money, including her own earnings

Looking back: The mother-of-two believes ‘he made a mistake’ that ‘he didn’t live to correct’ when he cut her out of his will and left her without any money, including her own earnings  

Home sweet home: This past September, she sold the New York City townhouse where they had lived for $10 million. She now lives in a rental apartment in Manhattan (pictured)

Home sweet home: This past September, she sold the New York City townhouse where they had lived for $10 million. She now lives in a rental apartment in Manhattan (pictured)

‘I know it looks like my life is now perfect; living in a lovely apartment, just featured on the cover of Vogue, attending the Oscars with my man… I’m immensely grateful for all the new and beautiful gifts I’m receiving from life,’ she said. ‘And yet, I still cry. Almost every day. 

‘And although I desperately want to feel and only focus on the hope and possibilities that are still ahead- sometimes I just can’t. Broken hearts don’t mend easily or quickly. But they do mend.’ 

Paulina made her romance with The West Wing Writer Instagram-official last week when she shared a sweet snap from their public debut as a couple on the red carpet at the Oscars.  

She gushed about Aaron, 59, in her caption while joking that she dressed in a form-fitting gold gown to look ‘sort of like a female Oscar’ so that the nominated screenwriter could ‘still take one home’ even if he lost his category. 

Their red carpet debut came just days after it was first reported that they have been ‘quietly seeing each other for a few months’ — and it also marked her first time attending the Oscars as a guest, she revealed. 

‘Although I have attended the Oscars before (as a fashion correspondent for the TV-Guide channel), this was my first time at the Oscars as an attendee,’ she explained, while noting that this year’s ceremony was ‘the most original ever’ thanks to the additional restrictions that had been put in place amid the pandemic.  

Paulina was full of praise for the event — thanks in large part to her date. 

Romance: Paulina went public with her relationship with screenwriter-director Aaron Sorkin last week when they made their red carpet debut at the Oscars

Romance: Paulina went public with her relationship with screenwriter-director Aaron Sorkin last week when they made their red carpet debut at the Oscars

Support: Paulina was by Aaron's side when he lost out on the Oscar for best original screenplay for his work on The Trial of the Chicago 7 to British writer and director Emerald Fennell

Support: Paulina was by Aaron’s side when he lost out on the Oscar for best original screenplay for his work on The Trial of the Chicago 7 to British writer and director Emerald Fennell

‘The intimacy of it was lovely; but it was also freezing in the room (all that ventilation) which incidentally also allowed me to snuggle close to my date… Who, yes, kept me warm all night,’ she wrote. 

Paulina was by Aaron’s side when he lost out on the Oscar for best original screenplay for his work on The Trial of the Chicago 7 to British writer and director Emerald Fennell, but she went to great lengths to ensure that he didn’t go home empty-handed, even after missing out on an Academy Award.   

The model remarked that she wore a form-fitting gold Dolce & Gabbana dress in part because it was the only gown in her closet.

‘Also, I figured it made me look sort of like a female Oscar — so in case Aaron didn’t win one — he could still take one home,’ she added. 

The couple drew media attention for their ‘age-appropriate’ romance, which Paulina took issue with, sharing a few of the headlines she saw online.  

‘What wrong with this? Is it a pat on my head for having snagged a man four years my senior, or applause for him that he conceded to dating a woman four years his junior?’ she asked. 

‘This has not, by any means, been my first date; only my first public date, and the repercussions are stunning to me. Sure, in private I managed to date men who congratulated themselves on finding me attractive despite my age — while being five to ten years older than I.

‘But this surprise in the media at my date dating ME is a little disheartening. Talk about ageism. Meanwhile, he is evolved enough to consider himself lucky. Now, THAT’s sexy.’