In some utterly tragic news for the entertainment world, model and socialite Kim Porter was found dead at her Toluca Lake, Calif. home on Nov. 15, 2018 after suffering flu-like symptoms, possibly pneumonia and cardiac arrest, reported TMZ. Although Porter was primarily known to the American public for her famous boyfriends, she was a star in her own right. In the early 1990s, Porter made waves in the fashion world, working with powerhouse designers, appearing in some of your favorite publications, and walking runaways around the world.
When she started dating Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, Porter's fame hit the stratosphere. Over the course of their 13-year relationship, the pair was a tabloid sensation, famed for its on-off romance and adorable brood. But there's so much more to Porter than her high-profile relationships. She was a mother of four children and a dear friend and mentor to stars such as Rihanna, Janelle Monae, and Kevin Hart. Let's dive into the untold truth of this 47-year-old luminary whose life was cut short all too soon.
Born in Columbus, Ga. in 1971, Kim Porter's dreams proved too big for small-town life. After graduating from high school in 1988, the determined young woman packed up her things and took her talent to Atlanta, where high-profile opportunities were plentiful. With her model-esque frame and perfectly chiseled features, Porter was soon landing work in fashion shows, on the covers of magazines such as Runway and Essence, and with major campaigns for popular brands like Revlon and Tommy Hilfiger. That's just a portion of her resume.
As her IMDb page notes, Porter made multiple on-screen appearances on TV shows such as Law & Order, Wicked Wicked Games, and VH1's short-lived series Single Ladies, which featured Stacey Dash and LisaRaye McCoy. Porter also nabbed notable roles in cult classics such as 2001's The Brothers and 2011's Mama, I Want to Sing.
Like many others who knew Porter, songwriter and producer Dallas Austin (known for working with singers such as Gwen Stefani and Duran Duran) took to social media to mourn her death, and revealed some history in the process. In a sweet post shared to his Instagram, Austin shared a throwback photo with Porter at prom along with a caption explaining their relationship, which dates back to when they were kids living in Columbus, Ga. He wrote, "I have never known a life without Kim porter from kindergarten through all of our lifelong experiences in high school, having matching bmws or her being the biggest believer in me making it as a producer and us getting out of Columbus to be somebody."
Over the years, they apparently developed a romantic relationship, and their love, according to Austin, inspired the 2002 film Drumline. "Most people don't know that Zoe Saldana played the role of Kim in "drumline" as nick cannon played my character," Austin revealed.
With her career on the incline in the early 1990s, Porter caught the eye of Al B. Sure! (real name Albert Brown), a Grammy-nominated singer and industry tastemaker who had a hand in the success of artists such as Jodeci, Faith Evans, and Usher. Porter and Brown seemingly hit it off instantly, and soon after, two became three. In 1991, they welcomed a son, Star actor Quincy Jones – named after the legendary music producer. (Father and son are pictured above.)
Their love, Brown said on a 2015 episode of Unsung, is what inspired him to write Jodeci's massively successful 1991 hit "Forever My Lady." As Porter tells it: I remember they were working on the song and they couldn't come up with the lyrics and Al looked at me and he was like, 'So you're having my baby,' and I was like, 'Ohhhh!'" Although these two didn't work out, Brown posted a tribute on Instagram after Porter's death, suggesting that she would, indeed, forever be his lady.
Porter met Diddy in the early 1990s while he was an A&R executive at Uptown Records. "The first time I saw her, she was at the studio with her ex-boyfriend [Al B. Sure!]," Combs told Essence in 2006. "I wasn't trying to holler at her or anything, but I was admiring her — her lips, her eyes, her mouth, her shape, her energy — and thinking, 'I wish I had a girl like that.'"
Soon after, Porter was hired on as a receptionist at Uptown Records, and in 1994, Diddy finally made his move. The couple reportedly became inseparable. "I'm talking about from a strip club to playing poker, she would be there," Diddy said. He even adopted Porter's son, Quincy Jones, when the little tyke was 3, and in 1998, they welcomed a baby boy of their own, Christian Combs. Everything was seemingly perfect — until 1999.
In 1999, Diddy started seeing pop sensation Jennifer Lopez, who he dated for roughly two years. In court papers filed for child support in 2001, Porter signaled that she and the Bad Boy producer were still in an intimate relationship with he started romancing the "Ain't It Funny" singer, but Porter later changed her tune, claiming there was "no overlap," according to the New York Post. However, an insider claimed Porter and Diddy were absolutely, most definitely still living together when Lopez arrived on the scene.
Years later, Porter revisited that moment with Essence, explaining that she'd been putting on an act during the J. Lo phase of Diddy's life. "I had just had a baby. I couldn't be somewhere in a corner heartbroken," she said. Besides, Porter said she knew Diddy would be back. "He was still in love with me," she said. Apparently, she was right. They reconciled after his split from Lopez and welcomed twins in 2006, before ending their 13-year relationship permanently the following year. That final breakup came shortly after Porter learned Diddy was expecting a baby with another woman.
Throughout her turbulent relationship with the "Last Night" rapper, Kim Porter always made it clear that her children were her No. 1 priority. When Diddy was caught up in legal drama connected to a 1999 shooting, she whisked their children away to Georgia to keep them away from the madness. "There was just too much going on," she told Essence. And when she left Diddy for good, she did so to set an example for their twin daughters, Jessie and D'Lila Combs. Although she'd previously taken Diddy back for stepping out on her, Porter told Essence (via People), "At this point in my life — I have girls now — it's a different program."
Porter's Instagram shows just how committed she was to her kids. When they weren't celebrating holidays together, they were rocking matching outfits and traveling around the world. Click any post featuring her children, and chances are you'll find a glowing caption exuding the confidence, self-love, and joy she felt being their mother.