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Paulina Porizkova

No more rock stars for me

Paulina Porizkova with her new boyfriend, Aaron Sorkin. Getty Images

Supermodel Paulina Porizkova did not have a glamorous start in life, says Katherine Rosman in The New York Times. Born in 1965, she was the child of two anti-communist Czech dissidents, who fled the country when she was three – leaving her behind. She didn’t see either of them for another four years, when her mother attempted to abduct her, failed and was put under house arrest. For years I was angry they abandoned me, says Porizkova, but now I’ve made peace with it. “Times were different.”

She started modelling at 15 and by 24 was one of the highest-paid women in the industry, earning a reported $6m a year as the face of Estée Lauder. Now 56, she shows no signs of stopping. Last month she was on the cover of Czech Vogue, wearing only a mesh leotard. My sons just said: “There’s Mom, naked again.”

A defining moment came in 1984, when she starred in a music video for the Cars and met the band’s frontman, Ric Ocasek. At the time she was 19, with a boyfriend, and Ocasek was 40, with a wife, but “it was love at first sight”. They played an unhappy couple in the video and spent the day shouting at each other. Five years later they were married. They had two children, but it didn’t end well. In 2019, while the couple were in the throes of a divorce, Ocasek died of lung cancer. Unbeknown to her, he had cut her out of his will. Now she is contesting it. “He left things in a mess with the will thing. That was such a mean thing to do to us as a family.”

Luckily she’s found love again, with The West Wing writer Aaron Sorkin, whom she started dating earlier this year. “He’s a great kisser.” They met after a journalist asked Porizkova if she wanted to be set up. Yes, she said, with one caveat – “no rock stars”.