Sunday, January 18, 2004

Electra set to join Lachey with MTV show

By Lauren Bishop / The Cincinnati Enquirer

MTV promises 'Til Death Do Us Part: Carmen & Dave, the reality show premiering Wednesday, will be full of surprises. And don't be surprised if you see someone you recognize from Cincinnati, Carmen Electra's hometown.

Electra - born Tara Leigh Patrick in White Oak in 1972 - says she flew about 15 family members and friends to Los Angeles for her Nov. 22 nuptials to Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro.

"You'll definitely see them," Electra, 31, said by phone from her home in Los Angeles. "I've been seeing my dad (Harry Patrick) in a lot of clips promoting the show. They show my dad handing me over to my husband. It's adorable."

Fellow Cincinnati native Nick Lachey, who stars in his own reality show on MTV with his wife, Jessica Simpson, wasn't a wedding guest. But Electra says she's met the couple on several occasions, and that Lachey told her he remembers her from Cincinnati's School for Creative and Performing Arts.

"He said that we were in Peter Pan together," says Electra, who played Tiger Lily.

Carmen last visited Cincinnati last summer, when Jane's Addiction headlined Lollapalooza. For much of last year though, she and Navarro were busy planning their wedding, which included posing naked for what became their bachelor/bachelorette party invitations.

What's the story there, anyway? Electra says their friends Jamie King, a choreographer, and famed photographer David LaChapelle wanted to give them the photo as a gift.

The original plan was to shoot the couple in a coffin with 'Til Death Do Us Part on the invitation, Electra says. When they got to the shoot, though, the idea of a coffin had evolved into a morgue.

"It sort of went to the next level, and it was a little scary and a little dark," Electra says. "But having him shoot us was just amazing to us. ... We love how it turned out. We couldn't use it as our wedding invitation because it was a little too intense for a lot of family members, so we used it for our (combined) bachelor/bachelorette party."

Risque photos are nothing new for Electra, a former Baywatch babe who has posed for Playboy and who just released Carmen Electra's Aerobic Striptease DVD series. Neither is marriage, for that matter.

Her brief marriage to former basketball star Dennis Rodman was brought up again in the wake of Britney Spears' even briefer one. Electra says it wasn't like anyone had dragged a new skeleton out of her closet.

"I've been hearing about it every since it happened," she says. "To me, it's not that big of a deal. It's just something two people do, every day. People go to Vegas and get married, and they're not thinking about it, and they're caught up in a moment and they realize they made a mistake. ... But I'm happy to have a real wedding and to do it right this time."

What did she learn after the first time around?

"Take your time and really plan it and really think it out. And make sure it's right."

Electra says she and Navarro love the episodes they've seen.

"The cool thing is that someday we'll show it to our kids."


"I want to have kids really bad," she says. "I have for a while. And now that I met the right person, I think it's time to get started."

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