She's maneuvering the world of high fashion using instinct, experience and a WILD and ROWDY past!
For about ten years I worked almost every day. Outside of vacations and my stints in rehab, I was a busy girl. So getting to that weekly anger management class was hit or miss. But here’s the deal. It’s simple. When I go to a pricey restaurant and order a steak cooked rare, that’s what I want. When I have to send it back and you bring me another steak, more burnt than before, now you’re just fucking with me. If GWYNETH PALTROW and her then-fiancè BRAD PITT had not overheard the snooty waiter call me a prima donna, I would have gone to jail that night for sure, along with my new buddy, Desi. Instead, I threw the steak against the wall—my contribution to their art collection—and Gwynnie, with her nose way up in the air, suggested we all leave. They called us Rowdy Royalty in the press the next day. Desi had just arrived in New York. For him it was a fabulous entrèe.
Winona is wearing VERSACE
As a model, I was a major risk-taker. If my photographer was one of the gods, the wardrobe amazing and the money just right, I’d do almost anything for the shot. But how was I supposed to know on the night I partied like 1999 with PRINCE after his show at Radio City that the next day, photog Steve White would have me hanging off the edge of a tower downtown? I felt like crap. But fear and the DONNA KARAN I was wearing kept me steady. Steve got off two rolls of film, the shot appeared in BAZAAR and only I can see the sheer terror in my eyes. Everybody else thought I was one bad bee-yotch. “You’re a trooper!” Steve said to me after it was all over. “How you were able to upchuck in mid-air and completely miss the gown is just beyond me!”
I met Phillip Michael Thomas in Barcelona, Spain. I was there on a photo shoot for HARPER’S BAZAAR and he was in talks for some cheesy B-movie. MIAMI VICE was long over but he was still arrogant, amusing and very, very sexy. Almost fifty then, his rep as a ladies man was epic, having had several kids with several different chicks. His hands were full! And that worked in my favor. Or so I thought. I sure wasn’t trying to add to his flock and didn’t think he was either. Until one night, we’re naked, sweaty, and taking me in his arms, he hits me with those smoldering green peepers of his and says, “You know, if this thing keeps going between us, you’re gonna have to bear some babies.” I couldn’t get my panties on fast enough.
We broke from our series, EVERYBODY’S GOT A PAST, to catch you up on the happenings at the MET GALA last week. Winona wasn’t involved in that smoking-in-the-bathroom foolishness you’ve been hearing so much about. She gave up cigarettes years ago. EVERYBODY’S GOT A PAST kicks off again this Monday with a brand new tale from her days as the baddest “bad girl” in the business. We’ve all got a past, right? Well, Winona’s is extra-cripsy! Stay tuned…
This was my first time going to the Met Gala alone. I worked the “red” carpet like a solo ex-supermodel and inside I hopped from table to table, catching up with old friends and making new ones. Did PRIYANKA CHOPRA give you life in that Ralph Lauren trenchcoat though?? EMMY ROSSUM in Carolina Herrera and ZENDAYA in Dolce & Gabbana were exquisite! And ATLANTA’s DONALD GLOVER is my new buddy. What a sweetiepie! I’m meeting him and his girl for dinner next week. You know what? Going stag to the gala just might be the start of a new trend for me!
Winona’s gown inspired by Zac Posen
I don’t attack people. Especially models. But I WILL spank that ass if you make me. So when Lil’ Carly Bates went on Letterman one night and suggested for laughs that I retire, I had to take her down, right? I was about thirty-five then but not too old to trip her up—twice—on the runway during Fashion Week. That was fun. Then I had a friend pose as a taxi driver and when Carly hopped in and fell asleep, he took her to Harlem. Dumped her out under a bridge near the river. That fucked with her pretty good too. But it was running into the rockstar boyfriend at a party that nailed it. I batted a lash and he was all over me. The pics showed up EVERYWHERE. On tv, on the newsstands. Carly cracked, packed, and ran back home to Montana. I dumped her guy a couple of days later. Okay? Never come for me, children. Ever.
I depended on Javier Lopez and his twin girls. They lived in my grandmother’s building and looked out for her, ran errands, checked in every day without fail. But when he got locked up, I couldn’t let her stay. I cancelled several gigs and hauled ass from the south of France to the South Bronx to pack her up. She was mad as hell too. So I spent a small bundle on a furnished, 2-bedroom home in a pricey Seniors community out on Long Island. I moved her boyfriend in, too. They love it out there. But the twins. They were in private school, it was not cheap and Javier was facing five years. I couldn’t let them drop out. They looked too cute in their uniforms. So, with their mother’s okay, I took over the tuition. But I was real clear with the headmaster. “They believe Papa is making this happen. Make sure they never hear anything different.”
Winona’s coat by Azzedine Alaia
It had been a rough few months. I was angry most all the time and everywhere I went, somebody would get in my face and cause trouble. The media was ruthless. No matter what, I was always the bad guy. Then REVLON cancelled my contract. That really ate me up. It wasn’t losing the three mil. It was the smear campaign. I didn’t know why the press was piling on or how to cope with it. So when I left my agent’s office that day, right away a group of tourists surrounded me with cameras. I warned them to get out of my face. But one dude was ALL OVER me. So I introduced his head to my 10-lb. backpack. They stepped back then. I got into a taxi, turned to boyfriend still sprawled on the concrete, and gave him the finger. The son-of-a-bitch took another picture! NATIONAL ENQUIRER. Cover. Just five days later. I got reamed. Again. That’s what I was dealing with back then.
When I first hit Paris to walk for Givenchy, I was nineteen and you couldn’t tell me squat. So when I saw that cabaret chanteuse Sherry Rogers was in town performing, I invited some of the crew to her show. She’s my cousin, you see. But then I got grand. I sent a note backstage that I was in the audience and would love to visit and say hello. She replied, “Dinner plans. Sorry,” and broke my face. But Sherry wasn’t feeling me or anyone from the Bronx. I knew that. Bitch didn’t even come home for her brother’s funeral. Okay? Years later, though, she had the balls to send me a note backstage after a Versace show, wanting to bring her granddaughter back who’s “dying to meet her supermodel cousin”. You know I had to drag her. How could I resist? I wrote — “Sorry diva. They say every dog has it’s day? Well it looks like today is mine.” Haven’t heard from Cousin Sherry since.
I spotted the hoops at Harry Winston’s on 5th Ave. and pointed them out to my racket jockey boyfriend. Ranked #1 at the time, he promised them for my birthday. But then Wimbledon happened. He got whipped. Badly. And swallowed a fistful of Seconal. Of course the press blamed me for it. Right? Because I was off working and not there to hold his hand. So I invited them all to kiss my ass—it made headlines—and purchased the diamond hoops myself. But I couldn’t wear them. For ten years I kept them locked away in a safe-deposit box. Finally I got them out. And after taking a couple of deep breaths, I put them on. It was bananas. I couldn’t take them OFF now! They became my energy source. My special sauce. The boom in my boom-boom. And here we are. I’ve been wearing them for years. I still don’t cut a deal or sign a contract without my hoops. Isn’t life funny?