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Bob and I started spending more time in Detroit, his hometown. We had our big family wedding there, where Bob Seger and Hank Williams Jr. sang for us. Our life in Detroit was full of music. I took for granted all those nights with Hank, ZZ Top, Uncle Kracker, Eminem, and Bob’s band. To be around such talent was inspiring. It was a true rock-and-roll lifestyle, gritty and soulful. Detroit had an energy all its own.
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Bob had taken on a lot with me and two boys — he was really great to them and had a young son himself. On Bob’s ranch, just outside the city, there were always adventures. They rode dirt bikes, snowmobiles, and horses. Bob’s friend Chelios played hockey for the Detroit Red Wings, and for Dylan’s fourth birthday party, the boys skated with the team at practice. They played golf with John Daly, who could famously open a beer can by hitting a golf ball off the top to crack it open, and they passed a football with Peyton Manning. The boys loved Bob. He made a huge effort.
At times, our differences were so apparent, I’d leave to take time to think. Then I’d have Mr. Ahmet Ertegun, the founder of Atlantic Records and legend, call me on Bob’s behalf and try to convince me to give him another chance. I’d arrive in New York for work, and there they would both be, sitting in the lobby of the St. Regis, at the piano, playing and singing “A Song for You” by Donny Hathaway. Or another one of our songs, “For Your Precious Love.” It’s a dirty game when a man can just sing you a song — you can’t help but cave to his abilities. His secret weapon. And I fell for it every time.
I wanted to be back in Malibu, though. I had rented a small house on Escondido Beach, but it was tiny for the five of us, so Bob found us a more suitable home on Point Dume and bought it. We were about to move in, until the premiere of Borat. The screening at Ron and Kelly Meyer’s house didn’t go well. Lots of important industry people were there — Steven Spielberg, Rick Rubin, Laird Hamilton and his wife, Gabby Reece. I didn’t tell Bob I was in the movie, because I wanted to surprise him. I forgot about the part in the film that referenced the “sex tape.” Bob stormed out, calling me a whore and worse. He was embarrassed, and his reaction was not thought through. Laird yelled, Don’t get mad at Superwoman when she busts out her cape! After I chased Bob to his car, he peeled out, leaving me there alone. I turned back and apologized, then asked if anyone could give me a ride home. When I walked in, Bob was smashing a photo on the wall. He said he was sick of waking up to a picture of me and David LaChapelle every day. But it wasn’t me and David — it was Marilyn Monroe and Bert Stern.
We broke up. I didn’t stay in touch with Bob.
But as bad luck had it, I was asked to present an award to Kanye West at MTV’s Video Music Awards. I saw Bob on the red carpet and he looked at me and said, Look what the cat dragged in. Then I saw Tommy. He entered from another way — kind of sneaking in and taking a seat — and when I slipped past him to sit down, Tommy pulled me onto his lap. He was sitting next to the magician Criss Angel, and I asked Criss if he could make Tommy disappear. Bob saw the whole thing and was fuming from his seat across from us. After I presented the award to Kanye, Alicia Keys started singing her new single “No One,” and at the lyrics “Everything’s gonna be alright,” Tommy and Bob dove at each other. Fists were flying, and the whole thing ended up on live TV. I walked out, and Alicia didn’t miss a beat, kept on singing. It was a setup. MTV must have been thrilled. I told the press waiting outside that we were bamboozled.
Boys will be boys.
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