New York Police Det. Martin Brown previously confirmed to USA TODAY that police were called to Ocasek’s residence on Sept. 15 and pronounced him dead at the scene. The Office of Chief Medical Examiner in New York concluded the next day that Ocasek died of natural causes, determining that hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease was the cause of death and that pulmonary emphysema was a contributing condition, meaning that he suffered from high blood pressure, a chronic lung condition and a buildup of fats, cholesterol and other substances his arteries.
“His death was not at all related to his heart or his surgery, which was two weeks earlier,” Porizkova told Rolling Stone in a new interview. “I don’t know how much I want to say about the surgery, but it was successful. He was recuperating really well. So his passing was a (expletive) shock.”
The two first met when she starred in the 1984 music video for The Cars’ “Drive” and announced a split last year after almost 30 years of marriage, though they remained on good terms.
The supermodel recalled stopping by Ocasek’s home the night before to deliver cookies. She told Rolling Stone he decided to go to sleep early “since I’m feeling a little sore” post-surgery.
“And that was the last time I saw him alive,” she said.
Porizkova said she returned the following morning and figured Ocasek was still sleeping, but checked back in on him a while later and realized that wasn’t the case.
“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,” Porizkova said. “And at that point, I knew, but I couldn’t believe it. 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 (expletive) awful.”
She said she waited to call 911 until her and Ocasek’s sons, Jonathan and Oliver, were able to say goodbye.
“So we waited, and we got to circle the bed and hold hands and really say goodbye. We were here with his shape for many hours after his death,” Porizkova said. “It was kind of wonderful because we all understood he was gone. He definitely left us. But the minute I called 911, literally two minutes (after), there were paparazzi at our house. That’s just disgusting.”
Porizkova said she felt “incredibly grateful” for her family to be able to have their quiet moments of mourning.
“How many people get to pass like that?” she asked. “One of our friends said, ‘You get to pick your life, and you’re told you get to struggle and then become incredibly successful and influential and meet the woman who adores you and be with her for 30 some years and have a bunch of kids and die in your sleep.’ Who wouldn’t volunteer for that one? Who would say no? He was a really, really lucky man.”