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Thread: Ric Ocasek (75), singer for The Cars, found dead in his Manhattan home

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    Ric Ocasek (75), singer for The Cars, found dead in his Manhattan home

    It's a sad week for 80's rock legends.

    Ric Ocasek, lead singer of The Cars, died Sunday in his Manhattan home, an NYPD spokesperson said.

    Ocasek was found unconscious and unresponsive in bed at his East 19th Street home around 4 p.m., police said. Emergency medical services pronounced him deceased at the scene.

    The cause of death is not yet clear, but police said there was no sign of foul play.

    He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.

    The Cars are known for classics including My Best Friend?s Girl, You're All I've Got Tonight, Good Times Roll, Shake It Up and You Might Think.

    Ocasek, who sang, played guitar and wrote most of the band's songs, and Benjamin Orr, who played bass and also sang, were ex-hippie buddies who formed The Cars in Boston in 1976. They were a decade older than many of their modern-rock compatriots but became one of the most essential American bands of the late 1970s and 1980s with their fusion of new wave, 1960s pop and 1970s glam.

    Ocasek's minimalist, half-spoken deadpan vocals set made the band's sound, and his long, lanky appearance formed their lasting image.

    The Cars had 10 other singles in the Billboard top 40, and of their six studio albums, four were in Billboard's top 10.

    In May of 2018, model and actress Paulina Porizkova announced on social media that she and Ocasek had separated after 28 years of marriage. The pair first met while filming the music video for "Drive."
    Last edited by raisedbywolves; 09-16-2019 at 01:41 AM.

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    Almost one month after the musician’s sudden death, Porizkova, 54, opened up about their relationship and the impact Ocasek, 75, had on her life in an emotional tribute on Instagram.

    Though the pair have been separated for nearly three years, the model explained that they were still living together at the time of his death and that she adored everything about Ocasek, including his flaws and unique personality traits.

    “Everyone who knew Ric knew that he could be aloof. And not particularly social,” she wrote on Thursday alongside a black-and-white photo of the former couple together. “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,” she continued. “For a long long time, no one could make me feels as loved as Ric. He was my sun.”

    Porizkova went on to clarify that she didn’t mean Ocasek was her sunshine — “Ric could be pretty gloomy” she admitted, adding that he used to “revel” in his nickname “the Master of Doom” — but rather that he was always the focal point of her life.

    “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,” she explained. “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,” the model finished. “His death is the end of my world as I knew it."

    This isn’t the first time that Porzikova has spoken out about her estranged husband, who died on Sept. 15 in his New York City home.

    In a new interview with Rolling Stone published on Friday, the model opened up about the late music legend and father of her two children — Oliver, 21 and Jonathan, 25 — and remembered her last moments with him before his sudden death.

    Porizkova said she was the one to find him in his home after he had died in his sleep following a surgery two weeks earlier, which the model noted was “not at all” the cause behind his death.

    “I don’t know how much I want to say about the surgery, but it was successful. He was recuperating really well,” she told the outlet. “So his passing was a f—ing shock.”

    Porizkova recalled bringing home cookies for Ocasek the night before his death and him saying that he was going to bed early because he was feeling sore. “That was the last time I saw him alive,” she told the outlet, adding that the next morning, she found him in bed with his eyes “a little bit open” and his cheek as cold as “marble.”

    “That was pretty f—ing awful,” she said.
    The model also revealed in the interview that she was “baffled” by the New York medical examiner’s autopsy, which stated that Ocasek died of hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, also known as atherosclerosis — which is a plaque build-up in the arteries and can cause hardening and/or narrowing in the heart muscle.

    Ocasek’s pulmonary emphysema, which causes a decrease in respiratory function and breathlessness, was listed as a contributing factor.

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    Despite the disparity in their ages and physical appearances, Ocasek and Porizkova’s relationship lasted for 30 years. When he died September 15th of this year, it was Porizkova who discovered his body in the home they still shared, even though they had been in the midst of divorce proceedings since May of 2018.

    And it’s the divorce that now looms over Ric Ocasek’s estate, setting the stage for a likely court battle. Normally, when someone dies in the midst of a divorce, the couple is still treated as having been married. In other words, the spouse is still a spouse, even if he or she wouldn’t have been a spouse if the divorce had been finalized sooner. This gives the spouse - Paulina Porizkova in this case - certain rights to the estate.

    Ocasek though took steps to cut-off Porizkova’s spousal rights by signing a new will a few weeks before he died, just before going in for surgery. Specifically, according to the New York Post, Ocasek’s will stated that he excluded Porizkova as a beneficiary because of the divorce, along with two of his six children. But he went further and stated that Porizkova “abandoned” him and should not be entitled to any elective share.

    This language is important because New York law - like the laws of most states - gives spouses the right to elect to receive a share of the estate, even when they are disinherited. That right can be lost when the spouse is found to have “abandoned” the person who died, or in certain other ways.

    The language in Ocasek’s will gives ammunition to his executor to contest any election rights that Porizkova tries to assert. But, this doesn’t mean that Porizkova will automatically lose. In fact, from her social media postings, Porizkova said she was still friendly and supportive of Ric Ocasek, even bringing him his “Sunday morning coffee” when she discovered his body in the New York townhouse that they still shared.

    Ultimately, it will be up to a probate judge to decide if Porizkova really did “abandon” Ocasek. Just because his will said she did, it does not mean that the judge has to agree. Instead, it will be based on the testimony and evidence presented in court.

    What’s at stake? About $1.7 million, potentially. The court filing to open Ocasek’s estate listed $5 million in copyrights, and another $115,000 in personal property and cash. But this would not include any assets held in trust, joint accounts with others, or life insurance or similar assets that have beneficiary designations.

    Under New York law, if her elective rights are upheld, Porizkova would be entitled to one-third of all estate assets, factoring in these types of assets that pass outside the estate. So if Ocasek and Porizkova had a joint bank account, for example, that would be deducted from any elective rights she has. Whether other assets exist that are not listed in the probate court filing will be important.

    If there are none, then $1.7 million will be on the line, and we will likely see a court battle over whether or not Paulina Porizkova really did abandon Ocasek.

    Without the new will, she may have inherited everything - depending on what Ocasek’s prior will provided.

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