Playboy brought me to California. I will be forever grateful to them. Playboy's 25th anniversary party in Chicago, the hottest party of the year, all the top models are invited. I had the most amazing red chiffon Halston, backless, low-cut dress. It made the newspapers back in LA. I was talked about by the group on the jet bunny plane ride home as "the girl in the red dress."
One man got my phone number and my heart for eight years -- producer Michael Trikilis, the nicest, most generous man in the world. He was producing the 25th Anniversary party as an ABC event. I flew to California a week later and never returned to Chicago. He helped me get started in acting, guided me, and one year later I did the centerfold. I was always around Playboy; we lived three blocks away and went there Friday nights for movie and dinner night. It was a wonderful party every Friday with movie stars, television actors, and Hef's best friends. They became very important to me and I wanted to be in the Playboy sorority. I was in a band with Hef's girlfriend Sondra Theodore; we had a lot of fun.
The Dorothy Stratton murder affected us all so deeply, we loved her. She was such a gentle soul. No one was ever jealous of her because she was always so interested in everyone and had a knack of making you feel like you had been her friend forever. We traveled to events, made a lot of money and met the most interesting people. My favorite, Emilo Azcarraga (head of Televisa), became a close friend when I ended up next to him at an affiliate dinner. We did a lot of interesting projects together over the years. I learned a lot about how hard being a celebrity can be when I lived next door to Kenny Rogers and Lionel Richie. Both men and their beautiful wives taught me so much; they had such wonderful ways with fans and everyone they came in contact with. I watched Kenny help people figure out their best potential for earning money, and not to just give money without expecting it back. I have used that theory and it has helped me deal with everyone always wanting a hand out. Lionel and Brenda are the most amazing people and the best parents, my heart is breaking for them over there daughter's issues. Living next door to him was a sitcom, he is so funny.
It was probably the most important time in my life, I learned amazing life lesson's from all these mentors. I went through life with a million questions and I was constantly talking to everyone. I traveled a lot with Marianne and Kenny, to Africa, Atlanta to film Six Pack. When I wasn't working I would go along on the road and Marianne and I would have the best time. We could have fun at a K-Mart. My LA life was fun; I did 10 movies and loads of TV.
After Michael and I broke up I dated Tom Selleck, another amazing man. He lived in Hawaii which was tough, my work was here. We both started dating other people and married them. I have a knack for picking stable, kind, and interesting men. I have been blessed. I am very proud that I can still call everyone I've dated a friend. My first husband is still one of my best friends, and is even in our show, he is a client in one scene.
Matt and I had the best time dating and being in the World Series when he was with St. Louis Cardinals. We always had a strong connection; we are very strong-willed people. Matt changed after his accident. He is not the man I married, his whole life changed in a day. His whole career taken from him in a second, it was a very hard thing for him and his ball club did nothing to prepare us for long-term effects. I know our relationship is being dogged on the show. The kids are sometimes hard on him, just as the situation itself was hard on them. Coming back from being away to having your family filming a reality show, in retrospect, probably wasn't very kind of me. He had a lot of anger with the show, and reality TV in general.
Everyone wants me to divorce Matt, I feel like he has to be back on his feet, and back to work for awhile before those kinds of decisions can be made. He is the most honest person and has done amazing things in his life, he has fathered three unique, intelligent children and for that I will always be grateful. He has no sympathy for my weight struggles and can be really harsh; but that again is his injury. Matt did come to my birthday. He just got upset; I forgot to tell him it was being recorded by Bravo. To me it is no big deal; he just doesn't like cameras around. It really wasn't my party, Vicki just wanted to go out and celebrate, Tammy and the rest of the girls had a party for me later, that day was during the week and everybody had kid things to do. There's more to come next week. Stay tuned.