Ric Ocasek’s estate settled with Paulina Porizkova: ‘I am gonna be fine’


Ric Ocasek passed away in September 2019. He was found by his estranged wife Paulina Porizkova. Even though they had separated legally, they were still living in the same house, and Paulina was taking care of him while he was ill. Weeks after he passed away, his will became public record and we learned that he had cut Paulina out of his estate entirely. He claimed that she “abandoned” him. It was a rotten thing to do and a gigantic legal headache. Paulina never wanted his full estate, but she was prepared to fight for her share, and her kids’ share. We haven’t heard much about it recently though, until now. She chatted with LA Magazine’s The Originals podcast recently and she ended up confirming what happened about Ocasek’s estate and a lot more:

She reached a settlement with Ocasek’s estate: Paulina Porizkova has reached a settlement with her late husband Ric Ocasek’s estate. While the grieving supermodel, 56, declined to reveal how much money she’ll receive after being cut out of the Cars frontman’s will, she slammed reports that he was only worth $5 million when he died in September 2019. “You know, that’s bulls–t. Just like that.” When Goldman asked whether the seemingly low number was “for tax purposes,” Porizkova claimed, “Yes, it was. … In the very early days, they just had to put down a number. So they just put down a low sum, so that it wouldn’t seem like he was maybe holding away a lot of money from me? I don’t know. I’m not sure.”

How much she got from the settlement: “I know exactly how much I’m owed under New York law, how much is due to me. And I am getting it. The estate is settling with me.” Goldman then flat-out asked, “How much is it?” to which Porizkova responded, “That I cannot tell you, [but] I am gonna be fine. I am gonna be fine. … I settled last week. There you go. … I settled last week with the estate. They were very fair. They gave me what is mine under New York state law, and we’re done.”

She didn’t know Ocasek has rewritten his will: “It completely sideswiped me, I had no idea. … I didn’t know how to make heads or tails out of anything. The shock of finding him and the grief of him being dead and then ‘Oh, guess what? You get no money. He didn’t want you to have [any] money, and he disinherited his two oldest sons.’ So, I was really messed up, and I won’t ever have the answers.”

She only wanted half of the estate: Porizkova said Ocasek’s previous will “was the one in which I inherited everything,” which she acknowledged “wouldn’t have been fair at all” given they were going through a divorce before his death.“I’m totally fine with inheriting a half, which I thought was mine,” she said. “Turns out it’s not a half under New York law, it’s a third.”

Her explanation for the will change: “My husband had some lawyers, and he was supposed to go through surgery. … They just cobbled together a really fast, kind of stupid thing. I don’t think my husband had the brain capacity at the time to figure out what he was really doing. … He was a bit of a hypochondriac anyway. … I think he signed a piece of paper without spending a lot of time thinking about it.” Ocasek was recovering from surgery when he died, and according to Porizkova, “Nobody expected him to die — nobody, absolutely nobody.”

[From Page Six]

I think all of this is fair – while we’ll probably never know what Ocasek’s intentions would have been, had he been of sound mind and body, I think everything worked out for the best. All of Ocasek’s kids should receive an equal share of the estate and Paulina fought for her share and what she thought was fair. She was a top model and she gave up prime years of her career to be Ocasek’s wife and mother to his children – in a potential divorce, she likely would have ended up with what she got (from the estate) or more. I don’t find it tacky that she sued the estate, it was a messy legal situation and they figured out a fair settlement.


Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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19 Responses to “Ric Ocasek’s estate settled with Paulina Porizkova: ‘I am gonna be fine’”

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  1. GirlMonday says:

    I’m happy she is getting what is fairly hers.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      I am too. I think Nic was a petty and angry man that he did it out of spite. It could have been many factors why Ric did it, but I think he was angry at her, the fact that they separated and possibly his anger that he was extremely sick and he was angry that his life could end.
      I am glad that she fought for herself and his other children as well. But I still think the main factor was anger at her due to the separation. Ric wanted to hurt and punish her and he did that with his will.

  2. Natters says:

    I had two friends in NYC whose husbands were trying their best for their ex wives to get nearly nothing in the divorce settlement. There are laws in NYC and formulas on what spouses whether male or female are entitled too. Both these women were granted more than the formula as the judge I felt was trying to teach the husbands a lesson in stinginess. You have rights and Ric thought he could punish his wife but the law was there for her in the end. I have a female friend who is the breadwinner in her marriage and is getting a divorce from her husband. She resents what she has to pay him but I tell her to get use to it because it’s his right. It goes both ways.

    • Kristin says:

      Yeah, legally you can disinherit children, but not spouses. Even if the spouse writes his will so that the surviving spouse only receives $20 from the will, the surviving spouse can take his or her elective share of the estate, which is typically 1/3.

  3. LillyfromLillooet says:

    First, I love Paulina so much. I follow her on Insta, she’s so fierce.

    I think it should be mentioned somewhere that Paulina herself generated a great deal of income, which she said in interviews “went into the marriage” meaning, her own assets got mixed in with Ric’s estate to the point where she said in interviews she had to ask for help paying for groceries after he cut her off in his will. She herself earned millions, if not tens of millions, over her career, and she trusted Ric with it. So ‘scuse me while I privately hold on to the grudge that she did not receive her just compensation.

    She deserves huge credit for agreeing to talk about it as part of an HBSC discussion series on women and wealth, to tell her story to help other women who marry men and get their finances handled and hoovered up only to discover the truth about assets. I was saddened that during the talk she kept labeling herself as stupid–Ric was 20 years her senior and it was an easy thing for him to do to take over and control her–he didn’t do right by her, and that’s on him.

    Paulina strikes me as a level-headed person who wants to get on with her life, and she’s likely at peace with the amount because it’s a goodly amount for a person to live on. That is very wise.

    • J.Mo says:

      Yes, her income was routinely absorbed into their lifestyle and assets. It was their money he was handling in his will!

  4. ItReallyIsYou,NotMe k8 says:

    She wasn’t wrong to sue them. She was standing up for what was rightfully hers under the law. According to my 1L Estates & Trusts class from 20 years ago 😉, the law automatically giving a spouse 1/3 of the estate was designed specifically to avoid this situation where a spouse disinherits another spouse leaving them with no income or options. There also may have been time limits for her to raise a claim that barred her from waiting to see if they could resolve it quietly without a lawsuit.

  5. Tiffany says:

    I gotta say, it was nice to read this. She stuck to what was right. They were not legally divorced and still shared assets, the home they lived in together up until his death. And looking out for the kids (petty move by Ric , by the by).

    Paulina lawyered up with not only good counsel, but she actually listened to them and it worked in her favor.

  6. JennyJenny says:

    My ex-husband actually had it written in his will, “that anyone who comes forward to contest this will is automatically considered dead to the court”.
    Yeah. He was quite a piece of work…

  7. JanetDR says:

    And this is why you don’t mix assets! Or keep a paper trail if you do.

  8. evie says:

    Good for Paulina! Women need to stand up for themselves. She brought her own money into the marriage and put her career on hold to raise her and Ric’s two boys. And despite the fact that they were divorcing, Pauline loyally stood by Ric and took care of him, visiting him and bringing him food daily, right up to his death. If that doesn’t demonstrate love and devotion, I don’t know what does! I can only imagine the hurt and anger she felt when she found out about the revisions to Ric’s will.

  9. BethAnne says:

    I know someone who went through something similar, they never went through a divorce to divide asserts and when he died he left her out of the will. But as other posters have already pointed out if you haven’t gone through a legal divorce to determine what in the marriage is whose then it’s not your prerogative where that money goes when you die because it isn’t solely yours. The woman I know fought it, and did get her money.

  10. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    I’m glad she is getting what she deserves. It is very unfair to me when one spouse who happens to make more money can cut out the poorer spouse. If marriage is supposed to be a partnership, the spouses should share in the income during their marriage. Even non-working spouses contribute to the working spouse’s success

    But, I think that works both ways. We shouldn’t have a separate standard depending on the gender of the higher-earning spouse.

  11. Chrissyms says:

    I never understood how this all shook down. She made lots of money that went into the marriage. I am glad it got worked out. Now she will have to deal with all the emotional crap that goes along with it.

  12. KinChicago says:

    He might have been suffering from dementia which can manifest with delusions, loss of memory, loss of recognition, paranoid anxiety.
    He might very well have been mentally ill and sicker than family reveals. When this happens, it can be very stressful and heartbreaking for all family- spouse, children, siblings, caretakers.
    She might have been caring for him not knowing what each day might bring in terms of recognition… as a safe, familiar loved one even if divorced or divorcing.

    Relieved she is getting compensated. The entire experience has to be awful for her.

  13. Margo says:

    She is a contemporary of mine and I admired her so much when she was an 80’s model. Such a beautiful woman! I follow her on IG and her personality is as lovely as she is, except her personality reveals real human flaws. I am a big fan/supporter of hers and I am thrilled that she can put this behind her – it’s been incredibly painful.

  14. Blip Esq. says:

    She was very, very young when she met him. Only 18 I think. She gave the entirety of her young adulthood and early middle age to this man. She made career sacrifices and allowed her income to commingle with his. Well said Mrs Krabapple: “non working spouses contribute to the working spouse’s success”. Good for her.

  15. khaveman says:

    So he left out his two sons as well? Wow that’s shocking. It’s brave to go after her rightful share under NY law. Good for her.

  16. Deeanna says:

    Sorry, but I think this was a deliberate, nasty move on the part of this man. He not only cut her out of his will, he cut out two of his sons. I am just sorry this poor woman had to go through such heartache and the whole two year legal mess to get this straightened out.

    I wonder if the attorney who took his money to write this will bothered to inform Ric that in New York you can;t cut the wife out of the will. Well, you can try, but you will not succeed.