Published August 28, 2012
"Baywatch" beauty Donna D’Errico made news recently when photos of her battered face, injured climbing Mount Ararat in her search for Noah’s Ark, went viral. The 44-year-old blonde was on a quest taking her even further from her past as the ex-wife of Motley Crue wild man Nikki Sixx and the September 1995 Playboy playmate. Today D'Errico is deeply committed to her Catholic faith, a mother of two... and searching for Noah's Ark?
FOX411: OK. How did a former 'Baywatch' gal get interested in Noah’s Ark?
Donna D’Errico: I got interested in the third grade. I went to a private Catholic school and we took a field trip to the local theater because there was a movie being played called ‘In Search of Noah’s Ark.’ When I saw it I was completely fascinated by it. That was the first time it crossed my mind that I want to someday climb Mount Ararat in search of Noah’s Ark.
A lot of people are saying, ‘With all the people throughout history who have searched for it, she thinks she’s going to go there and find it?’ That’s not what my dream was. My dream’s always been to climb Mount Ararat and search for it, not find it. I mean that would be kind of cool, but that’s not what it was about, it was about me searching for it.
Then I got married, and had kids, and a career, but it was always still right there. In December 2010 I was hospitalized with a severe MRSA infection. They thought I was going to die. After I got out I thought, I almost died. I was 42 and I thought if I wait that much longer I’m going to be too old. I’ll be physically incapable of climbing Mount Ararat. I’m not done, I want to go back. I had to unfortunately cut it short a little bit.
FOX411: You were injured?
DD: I was injured. It wasn’t so much the injury itself that made me cut it short. I took photographs of my injured face and I sent them home. I made the mistake of posting one of the pictures on my Twitter account and a giant story broke about it.
FOX411: So you don’t see Noah’s Ark as a legend but a literal event.
DD: Of course. Yes I believe what the Bible says. Plus over the years throughout history there’s historical records of people throughout history seeing the ark on Mount Ararat, so it’s not like it’s just a fable and I’m only just going on the Bible. There’s been historical records by respected people who have gone and seen it.
FOX411: Do you consider yourself a religious person?
DD: Absolutely. I don’t like the term spiritual because I think that’s a cop out. Either you’re religious or you’re not. There’s no spiritual, it’s a silly term that’s become a catchall phrase. If you’re not religious you’re not religious. What does spiritual mean? I go to Mass every Sunday and I pray the rosary every night with my kids.
FOX411: You say you went to Catholic school. Were your parents disappointed when you posed for Playboy?
DD: Listen, I’ve made mistakes and choices in my past that I wouldn’t make today. That’s a chapter in my life that I’ve closed the door on. It seems to me like another person. It’s not who I am today.
FOX411: You were on ‘Baywatch.’ There must have been enormous pressure to stay thin.
DD: There was a lot of emphasis put on weight and appearance. We dealt with the weight pressure because the trade off was we got to be on the number one syndicated show in the world. We were all so young and I probably wouldn’t make that same choice today.
FOX411: Were you hungry all the time?
DD: At the end of one season I’d gained ten pounds and the executive producers scheduled a meeting with me and I heard through the grapevine that they were going to fire me. But by the time I went into the meeting I had lost most of it so they didn’t fire me. And I was pressured by other people in my life to stay thin.
FOX411: You were a very vocal supporter of Ron Paul. Are you now supporting Mitt Romney?
DD: Um, no, no I’m not.
FOX411: So will you be supporting Barack Obama?
DD: I’m not supporting Barack Obama, no way. I’m still supporting Ron Paul to be honest with you. My support for him has never wavered. It’s still all about Ron Paul for me. He’s very honest and I agree with all his positions and he’s the only one I can say that about. Unlike his competitors he doesn’t kowtow to the powers that be. He doesn’t say things to make people like him. He says it like it is. He’s not a puppet and I really respect that about him.