Paulina Porizkova has opened up about overcoming her “big mistake” of handing over her independence to her late husband, Ric Ocasek, who cut her out of his will and left her with no money to survive after his death.
The 58-year-old model reflected on how she went from growing up in poverty, to making millions as a model, to once again struggling to make ends meet in a cover interview. Is learning for the digital magazine’s “Money Issue”.
“Having money doesn’t make you a happier person. It doesn’t buy you love, community, connection — it doesn’t buy you any of those things. But it does buy you a ticket out of jail,” she told the outlet.
If you don’t have money and are left to steal food, or have nowhere to live, you obviously know how limiting that can be. For me, money has always represented freedom, but that doesn’t necessarily equate to happiness. And I think a lot of people are confused.
Paulina Porizkova, 58, opened up about her ‘big mistake’ of handing over her independence to her husband, Ric Ocasek, in an interview with SheKnows.
Ocasek (pictured in 2018) cut Porizkova out of his will and left her without any money — including her own earnings — when he died in 2019
Porizkova was born in 1965 near Prostejov, Czechoslovakia, to Anna Porizkova and Jiri Porizka (the male version of Porizkova). Her anti-Soviet parents were forced to flee to Sweden, three years later to escape the 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion.
She grew up in poverty in communist Czechoslovakia while left under the care of her maternal grandmother.
The authorities prevented her parents from retrieving her. It took six years to be reunited with her family – and a failed rescue attempt from her mother.
Shortly after moving to Sweden and obtaining Swedish citizenship, her father left the family, and they became estranged.
In her book of essays, No Filter, she recalled how she was nine years old when her father left her and her younger brother alone for two weeks in Sweden with the equivalent of $20.
She was forced to steal bread and cheese to keep them from going hungry. She was only ten years old when she got her first job selling newspapers. Five years later, she started modeling in Paris and rose to fame.
This was a huge lesson, and one I learned well. “I will never give myself up to anyone again,” Porizkova said
The supermodel (pictured with her family) grew up in communist Czechoslovakia under the care of her grandmother before moving to Sweden to meet her anti-Soviet parents.
Porizkova was 15 when she began modeling in Paris, and four years later, she was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1984.
Porizkova She appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1984 when she was just 19 years old – the same year she met Ocasek on the set of the music video for The Cars’ hit ‘Drive’ in 1984.
No one ever taught her how to manage her money or even open a bank account. She used to hide her money in teddy bears before she got a business manager.
When her rock star advised her to turn into his manager and accountant three years after they met, she listened.
In 1988, she landed $6 million as the face of Esteé Lauder—the largest cosmetics contract for a supermodel at the time—but Ocasek never considered her the breadwinner. in their relationship.
Porizkova He was 24 and he was 45 when they married the following year without prior, and she began working less.
Looking back, she says it was “stupid” to offload the management of their finances and investments to her husband while she ran their home and raised their two sons, Jonathan and Oliver, who are now 29 and 24, respectively.
Porizkova was also 19 when she met Ocasek on the set of the music video for The Cars’ hit ‘Drive’ in 1984. They married five years later, when she was 24 and he was 45.
Looking back, she said it was ‘stupid’ for her to dump her husband in managing their finances and investments while she ran their home and raised their children.
Porizkova and Ocasek (pictured on their latest family vacation) were going through a divorce when he passed away at their shared Manhattan home in 2019 at the age of 75.
“Handing off the responsibility for my independence to someone else — what a huge mistake,” she said. It’s not that I mistrusted (my husband); The mistake of handing myself over to him was like, “Here. You take care of me.”
This was a huge lesson, and one I learned well. I will never surrender myself to anyone again.
Porizkova and Ocasek were going through a divorce When he passed away at their shared Manhattan home in September 2019 at the age of 75.
The day after his death, she learns that he had cut off her will a few weeks earlier, claiming that she had “abandoned” him. He left her without any money to live from, including her own earnings, and she had to rely on friends to buy groceries.
I was forced to sell their townhouse for $10 million in September 2020. I lost millions of dollars in the sale due to the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the real estate market.
Porizkova later reached a settlement with her late husband’s estate and received what was owed to her under New York State law, one-third of Ocasek’s assets.
Since then, she’s taken her own finances into her own hands, learning enough about it to hire a financial advisor she trusts to manage her investments, but knows that will never be her area of expertise.
The day after his death, she learns that he had cut off her will a few weeks earlier, claiming that she had “abandoned” him.
Porizkova had to sell her country house for $10 million in September 2020. She lost millions of dollars in the sale due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the real estate market
Borizova, who has since appointed a financial director, added that her children are not “eligible” for trust-fund children, saying they “do not live beyond their means.”
I don’t feel confident. I spent 57 years of not knowing money, stuffing it into teddy bears and giving it to business managers,” she said. I didn’t suddenly wake up one day and become a financier. I still feel like I’m learning this in bits.
The mom is also proud to say her sons aren’t “eligible” for trust fund babies, despite having the rock star and supermodel as parents.
“They are very money conscious,” she explained. they do not buy things beyond their means; They do not live beyond their means. And technically, they could if they wanted to.
Porizkova posed for not one, but two covers for SheKnows, modeling a glamorous black sequin gown in one shot and a beaded dress in the other.
She shared the first cover on her Instagram page on Monday while promoting the new money issue.
“Money is always a difficult conversation. Is it because it’s directly related to our sense of self-worth?” she wrote in the caption. I’ve lived on both sides of having and not having, and of course there’s no question which is better.
Did I deserve more as a person when I had more money? It certainly seems so, because money buys you the privileges of our society. As does beauty. But the truth is, what made me most worthy as a human being were the times when I wasn’t that privileged.