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Ric Ocasek and Paulina Porizkova: A split nobody saw coming

Wendy Geller
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

When Paulina Porizkova shared on Instagram Wednesday that her nearly 29-year marriage to rocker Ric Ocasek was at an end, there was no other response to be had but pure shock.

It’s safe to say that, while celebrity marriages are traditionally a fragile institution, nobody saw this particular couple’s split on the horizon. Porizkova, 53, and Ocasek, 74, gave not even the slightest hint that their longstanding, seemingly glorious union was in any trouble at all.

Ocasek met Porizkova on the set of the Cars’ video “Drive” in 1984 (a production that showed off her acting chops as well as her beauty), and the pair married in 1989. Right from the start, it was clear this was no ordinary “rock star marries model” situation. The couple weathered a considerable amount of joking about the disparity of their physical attractiveness, and they maintained a carefree, even humorous attitude about it, modeling an adorable standard of loving each other due to a perfect meeting of the minds.

When termed “Beauty and the Beast” by the press, Ocasek famously said to his wife, “It’s OK, honey, I don’t think you’re a beast.”

Paulina Porizkova and Ric Ocasek at the Council of Fashion Designers of America awards in June 2000. (Photo: Ron Galella/WireImage)

As for Porizkova, she expressed a desire for a man who was “a combination of Mr. Spock, David Bowie, Jesus Christ, and Chopin,” and noted numerous times over the years that her husband totally filled her bill — even calling him “the sexiest man in the world.”

Porizkova and Ocasek attend the Bon Jovi: When We Were Beautiful premiere, October 2009, in New York City. (Photo: Mike Coppola/FilmMagic)

The two maintained a cheerful, even playful, vibe in public over their decades together that appeared impossible to fake. While supporting each other’s careers (which in Porizkova’s case included acting and writing work), they presented a fun-loving and completely trouble-free demeanor.

Porizkova and Ocasek attend the premiere of Girls Season 2 in New York City, January 9, 2013. (Photo: Jim Spellman/WireImage)

Their marriage seemed to have an extended, firm, and happy foundation, outside of their personal compatibility. Ocasek was married twice, and had four sons, before settling down with Porizkova. The model apparently maintained a harmonious relationship with her stepchildren, even working with one of them on a children’s book in 1992.

She and Ocasek would add two sons of their own to the family, Jonathan (born 1993) and Oliver (1999). In addition to their own shots-around-town as a couple, the two would often be seen with the kids in tow — looking happy as can be, as this playful photo from 2016 attests.

Jonathan Ocasek, Oliver Ocasek, Paulina Porizkova, and Rick Ocasek attend the Florence Foster Jenkins premiere in August 2016 in New York City. (Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

Perhaps what is the most surprising thing regarding the couple’s split is the fact that just last month, they were seen together at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, which saw Ocasek and the Cars entering the hallowed institution. All seemed well, with the pair as compatible as ever.

Ocasek and Porizkova at the 33rd Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, April 14, 2018, in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo: by Kevin Kane/Getty Images for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

The former supermodel even posted a video on Instagram of herself and her sons grooving to the Cars’ 1978 debut single, “Just What I Needed.” Her exuberant support of her husband’s triumph doesn’t suggest a fractured relationship in any way, shape, or form.


“The love we have for one another is so wide and deep it’s practically tangible, and that sort of love can never disappear,” Porizkova shared on her Instagram. “Expect to keep seeing happy family photos.”

OK, but we expect that we’ll still be crying over the demise of what appeared to be one of the most lovable, utterly adorable celebrity marriages of all time.


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