Still, she’s not without regret over the Rodman relationship. “If we could have grown more together, I really saw myself being with him forever,” she continued. “I know how much he loved me.”
By 2003, Electra had found her twin flame in another star, Jane’s Addiction and Red Hot Chilli Peppers guitarist Dave Navarro. The wise-cracking musician and Electra shared an instant, camera-ready connection. Photographer David LaChapelle styled the pair naked on gurneys for their wedding invitation, she said Hugh Hefner attended their wedding with playmates in tow, and the pair was tapped for their own MTV reality show, Til Death Do Us Part: Carmen and Dave. “It was really beautiful in a gothic, beautiful and kind of dark [way],” she said. “Dark and light combined.”
The marriage lasted four years, throughout which, Electra remembers Navarro’s substance abuse and alleged infidelity were front-page news. “I had never been around a junkie,” Electra said. “My friends told me that you have to be there because if you’re not, he’s going to die…it was very, very hard for me and something that I didn’t understand. And [his cheating] was on the cover of every magazine, I was really embarrassed. Dealing with that publicly on top of everything.”
A representative for Navarro did not reply to a request for comment.
Electra still is on good terms with all her famous exes. Before Prince died, she said they had plans to reunite in the studio. She and Rodman share the same representation, whom she says has implied Rodman might like to get back together (“I would if we could,” she says today). The actor has also considered reconnecting with Navarro, with whom it has always been a case of “wrong place, wrong time.” She feels it’s kismet that Navarro and Prince share the same birthday.
“I was very codependent,” she said of her earlier relationships. “My feeling was, Wow, when I needed you, where were you?”
While Carmen Electra might be single, she’s not without admirers. You can pay for the pleasure of her virtual company via OnlyFans, where she leverages her enduring status as a sex symbol and even shares exclusives on the site alongside the likes of Sopranos actor Drea de Matteo. These days, Electra cedes control to no one, save Kim Kardashian. She and McCarthy, also 51, had a “good laugh” about reuniting in bikinis for the Skims campaign.
Marlon Wayans compared her to the Skims founder. “She was the Kim Kardashian of that day,” he said. “She was the Julius Erving to Michael Jordan. She was likable—all over MTV, all in the magazines, every guy wanted to be with her and every girl wanted to be like her.”
The storm has subsided, and with it, the servers’ attention. By now, they’re well-acclimatized to Electra—moving on, as fans so often do, to the next unknowable thing. Electra seems unbothered that in this café, at least, she’s yesterday’s news. She has survived and thrived this long because of a 30-year resolution to never take herself too seriously. And no matter what’s next, she’s not about to change course.
“This is me, this is it,” Electra continued, moving a hand up to her biggest, and most underrated asset: her heart. “Another step, another step.”