Ric Ocasek’s widow Paulina Porizkova says Cars frontman’s death ‘is the end of my world as I knew it’
Paulina Porizkova’s world will never be the same after losing beloved Cars frontman Ric Ocasek.
Nearly a month after the rocker passed away at age 75, the supermodel released an emotional tribute to her estranged husband on Thursday.
“Ric and I have been separated for nearly three years now,” the 54-year-old captioned a black and white photo of the former couple together. “But we still lived together and still filled the family car.”
“Everyone who knew Ric knew that he could be aloof,” she continued. “And not particularly social. But when he decided to turn his focus on you, it was as if the sun came out. His smile and his gaze warmed you and made you feel like the most special person in the world. I had that gaze and smile on me for most of my life. For a long long time, no one could make me feels as loved as Ric. He was my sun.
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“With this, I don’t mean my sunshine, no, Ric could be pretty gloomy. In fact, when we first met , he reveled in his nickname “the Master of Doom”. But in my universe, it was where he rose and where he set that was the point to which I oriented myself. Like a plant, I tilted my head to catch his rays.
“Our separation didn’t alter this one bit. He was rising and setting and I planned my life around it as one does a day: depending on the position of the sun in the sky: you’ll have breakfast or go to work or dinner with your friends. His death is the end of my world as I knew it.”
Earlier this month, Porizkova recalled her final moments with Ocasek, who died on Sept. 15 in his New York City home, to Rolling Stone. The cover girl told the outlet she was the one to find Ocasek had died in his sleep. He had undergone surgery two weeks earlier, but she insisted it was not a contributing factor in his sudden death.
"I don’t know how much I want to say about the surgery, but it was successful. He was recuperating really well," she said. "So his passing was a f---ing shock."
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A New York City medical examiner determined last month Ocasek died from hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease with pulmonary emphysema being a contributing factor.
Porizkova, who shares sons Oliver, 21 and Jonathan, 25, with the singer, told the outlet she brought over cookies to Ocasek's home the night before he died.
"When I got there, he was sitting in his usual chair and I said, ‘I got some gooey cookies,’ and he said, ‘OK, thanks, hon — I had some terrible cookies because I was in the mood for cookies, but I’ll have your gooey cookies tomorrow. I think I’m going to bed early since I‘m feeling a little sore,'" she recalled. "And that was the last time I saw him alive."
But when she returned the next morning to check on him she saw him asleep and assumed he was OK.
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"I did some chores and then it was 11, and I thought, ‘This is weird, there’s something not right about this,'" she said. "I poured the coffee and came upstairs to give it to him and he was in the exact same position; he hadn’t even moved a little bit. And, at that point, I knew, but I couldn’t believe it."
Porizkova continued, "I walked up to him and he still looked asleep. Except he was really, really still and his eyes were a little bit open. I thought he was waking up, actually. I was about to wave my hand in front of his face and go, ‘Hey, I brought you coffee.’ But I touched his cheek and it was like touching marble. That was pretty f---ing awful."
The mom-of-two said she held off calling 911 at the advice of Ocasek's manager, who said they would be bombarded by the press as soon as that happened.
"I wanted Ric’s sons to get here so we could all say goodbye to him. So we waited, and we got to circle the bed and hold hands and really say goodbye," she said. "We were here with his shape for many hours after his death. It was kind of wonderful because we all understood he was gone. He definitely left us."
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She said once she did call authorities, it only took "two minutes" until "there were paparazzi at our house" adding, "That’s just disgusting."
In a statement released after Ocasek’s death, Porizkova wrote on Instagram: "Ric was at home recuperating very well after surgery. Our two sons, Jonathan and Oliver, and I were making sure he was comfortable, ordering food and watching TV together.
"I found him still asleep when bringing him his Sunday morning coffee," she continued. "I touched his cheek to rouse him. It was then I realized that during the night he had peacefully passed on. We appreciate the great outpouring of love. We, his family and friends, are completely and utterly devastated by his untimely and unexpected death and would appreciate the privacy to mourn in private."
Porizkova and Ocasek met in 1984 on the set of the Cars' music video for "Drive." They married in 1989. In 2018, Porizkova announced she and Ocasek had separated after 28 years of marriage.
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“Our family always has been — and still is — a well-built car,” Porizkova wrote on Instagram. “When the four of us are together, we can go wherever the road takes us. But as a bicycle, my husband and I no longer pedal in unison. So we’re ditching the bicycle. Ric and I have been peacefully separated for the past year. The photos of our happy family are, in fact, happy family photos; we are just no longer a couple.”
Fox News’ Sasha Savitsky and Jessica Sager contributed to this report.