Ric Ocasek’s oldest son Chris has branded his late father a “narcissist” who was “never present.”
On the anniversary of his dad’s death on Sept. 15, Chris Otcasek (who uses the original spelling of the family name) went public with his feelings about his father when he captioned an Instagram photo of himself with Ric and brother Adam, “You don’t exist. We didn’t either.”
The 56-year-old lead artist in the video game industry is the product of the rock star’s first marriage to Constance Campbell. In 1971, Ric divorced Campbell while she was six months pregnant with their second child and in the same year married second wife Suzanne. They went on to have two sons, Eron and Derek.
While filming the music video for The Cars’ song “Drive” in 1984, the 40-year-old singer met 18-year old Czech-born supermodel Paulina Porizkova. Ric ditched his second wife in 1988 and the following year wed Porizkova. They welcomed two sons, Jonathan and Oliver.
Chris, who had a record deal with Capitol Records in the late ’80s, told Page Six he didn’t hear from his father for most of his childhood — that is until The Cars started charting with hits like “Shake it Up” and “You Might Think.”
“There may have been a touch of guilt, but I also think he wanted to say he was becoming famous and I think that gets into one of the more universal things in that he was just simply a narcissist,” Chris told us.
“He didn’t have the sort of conscience to keep him grounded so he just kept going and always went for the next thing even if that meant abandoning or neglecting children. That was fine with him. I don’t think he thought much about it.”
While Chris admitted he felt their relationship was “shallow,” only seeing each other once a year or so, he added that the pair did stay in touch via phone.
But still, Chris, who has made a career as a video game designer, claimed that “my father, in essence, died the day I was born. He was never present, he was never there. Even when he was, he was never there and that’s the abandonment that I’m referring to.”
Chris told us he used to live in New York but moved to Los Angeles to “get as far away geographically from him as I could. I was living a few blocks from him for a year or two and saw him once maybe and I just decided I had to get as far away as possible as I could.”
He also struggled with how closely he resembled the late rocker, something he grappled with as a teen when The Cars were mainstays on MTV.
“There were a lot of preconceived notions. In retrospect I wish I’d been a bit more protected from that,” he shared. “I didn’t want to be reminded every 15 seconds that I didn’t have my dad in my life. It was hard.”
Chris isn’t the only person in Ric’s inner circle who felt burned by the singer-songwriter. After his death, Porizkova discovered that he had written her out of his will, claiming that she had abandoned him. Chris and his brother Adam were the only sons to be left out of their father’s will.
Just last week, she confessed on Instagram that she was “clearly delusional” regarding their relationship.
“I believed I knew him. I believed we had the same definition of ‘love.’ Grieving him is an equal amount of heartbreak and rage,” she wrote of the man she had been married to from 1989 until 2018.
Despite all the frustrations and shattered hope regarding his father, Chris seems at peace.
“I think I’ve done OK in spite of all that but it was an issue,” he said.