Paulina Porizkova has revealed that she regrets not signing a prenup with her late husband Ric Ocasek, who cut her out of his will, saying she had to rely on friends to buy her groceries after he died.
The 55-year-old model opened up about her financial mistakes during a two-part conversation with Paula Polito, vice chairwoman of UBS Global Wealth Management, as part of her paid partnership with the bank.
When asked if she had regretted not signing prenup when she got married in her early 20s, Paulina let out a maniacal laugh and made a face, saying: ‘Uh, yeah.’
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Candid: Paulina Porizkova, 55, opened up about her financial mistakes during a two-part conversation with UBS as part of her paid partnership with the bank
Real: The model told Paula Polito, vice chairwoman of UBS Global Wealth Management, that she regrets not signing a prenup when she married her late husband Ric Ocasek in 1989
‘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.’
Paulina was pulling in about $6 million a year at the time, but she was never considered the breadwinner.
Memories: The supermodel met her late husband on the set of the music video for The Cars’ hit ‘Drive’ in 1984 (pictured) when she was only 19
Honest: Paulina (pictured with Ric in 1990) said Ric thought a prenup was a ‘bad omen’ and ‘romance eclipsed any financial thinking’ on her part
Naive: 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
‘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)
Trouble: Paulina said she still had access to money after they announced their separation in 2018, but that all changed when Ric died in their Manhattan townhouse in 2019
Loss: 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.
‘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.
Terrible: The Sports Illustrated cover star admitted that friends had to buy her groceries after he died, saying her story is a ‘perfect example of a cautionary tale’
Change of heart: ‘The most romantic and best way to start a marriage is to sit down and talk about your financials,’ she said in a follow-up conversation
Moving on: Paulina sold the townhouse where she lived with her late husband for three decades for $10 million in September
‘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.
Nightmare: The model also has a home in upstate New York that she still owns. She noted that Ric left with her two mortgages but not any money to pay for them
New life: Paulina has moved into an apartment she is renting in New York City
Racy: Paulina recently shared a nude photo of herself that was taken in her new apartment
‘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.’
Paulina stressed that she is a ‘perfect example of a cautionary tale,’ and in a follow-up conversation, she said she has completely changed her mind about financial conversations not being romantic.
‘The most romantic and best way to start a marriage is to sit down and talk about your financials,’ she said. ‘Because that means you really care and respect what the other person thinks, and you’re not discounting their worth.’
However, she admitted that her newfound financial worth has affected her dating life in a small but noticeable way.
‘Men my age, they still get a little discomfited when I pick the up check.’ she said. ‘If I decide to pick up the check, I can tell I’ve just emasculated them. It’s not super sexy, I guess.’