After years of dating and hooking up with numerous women, rapper turned actor Ice-T settled down with the most unlikely of candidates; an outrageously proportioned human Barbie named Nicole “Coco” Austin. Coco, who many would describe as the physical embodiment of a hormonal fourteen year old boy’s sexual fantasy, is not just Ice-T’s wife, but his business partner and the unrelenting savvy behind many of Ice-T’s music and branding deals.
At first glance, Coco’s appearance is prone to be pre-judged by, well… everyone. Even Ice-T admits to writing her off as nothing more than a “party girl,” when he first set eyes on the platinum blonde bombshell. He explained to me that one look at Coco’s eye-popping figure led him to believe that she could not possibly be the marrying kind. As the two got better acquainted, Ice-T was surprised as he got to know a hardworking, focused, and down-to-earth girl from humble beginnings; someone who was clearly ready for quiet nights at home, according to both of them. This begs the question: how do a controversial rap star and a nude model define blissful domesticity? That question led the way for the majority of our three-way discussion.
With a decade-long steady gig as Detective Fin on the top rated Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (SVU) and a legendary spot within hip-hop culture and rap music history, Ice-T’s music and his acting career remain extremely relevant. It’s no wonder that reality television pursued him doggedly for years before he and his wife Coco finally agreed to appear in an eight episode arc for the E! Network. Their eventual agreement to take part in this 21st century phenomenon called “reality television” is likely a strategic move on the couple’s part to showcase Coco’s business acumen and her physical beauty, and to prove themselves a bona fide power couple as opposed to a celebrity and his vacant arm candy.
Coco is over-the-top, but vacant she is not. I actually found her to have a clever sense of humor, a warm heart and a clearly-defined sense of self. Ice-T is also quite a humorous character, uninhibited with his use of language (something that has gotten him into trouble in decades past), and a master of common sense when the occasion calls for it. Ice-T and Coco are also clearly crazy for one another, hence the name of their new E! series, Ice Loves Coco.
While there are certain to be plenty of juicy and lascivious moments sprinkled into each episode of Ice Loves Coco, I suspect there will be a surprising sweetness between the two that will catch viewers off guard.
PR.com (Allison Kugel): Ice, you’re quoted as saying that your new show on E!, Ice Loves Coco, is about how Coco runs your life. How is Coco running your life?
Ice-T: Behind the scenes Coco has actually been my personal assistant, similar to Sharon Osbourne and Ozzie, running all my businesses, all the logistics of tours and all that. Everything that I do other than act, Coco’s on the phone making all those deals happen and doing everything that she’s doing with her career, simultaneously. So I’ve got the easy job. I just go out and do the work and Coco handles all the business behind the scenes.
PR.com: Coco, does everyone underestimate you?
Coco Austin: I think so. I think [people] really haven’t seen the true Coco. This show is what it’s all about. You’re going to see the family side of Coco, the loving side of Coco and the goofy side of Coco. I think that’s the key here. People just see me as a model and as the party girl because the only time paparazzi are out is usually when we go to red carpet events and you’re wearing crazy outfits and going to the after-parties. They don’t see what I do on a normal, regular basis.
PR.com: Coco, you are often dressed in as little as is legally possible to wear in public. Why?
Coco Austin: First of all you don’t see me when I’m in regular outfits. I live in New York where it’s mostly cold, so it’s not like I’m wearing booty shorts…
Coco Austin: I do have boots and clothes and turtlenecks that you never see because I never wear that to the clubs at night; I never wear that on the red carpet! But of course, I do have to say that I am a bit of a nudist. You know how nudists are. They’re completely open and free with their bodies.
PR.com: You’re the best looking nudist I’ve ever seen. I’ve been to nude beaches and there are some grotesque looking people.
Coco Austin: They are grotesque, I have to admit. But there is just something about being free with your body and just totally au natural. But, of course, I don’t live near a beach or anything, so I do cover up and you don’t get to see those times. But I do like to show off my assets. I work out hard at the gym so why not show it off? We always explain the bodybuilder who goes to the gym and wants to show off his arms. Do you think he’s wearing a baggy shirt? No. He’s showing off his biceps, probably with a cut-off tank top or whatever. And no one says anything bad about them (laughs).
Ice-T: People like to show off what they think they have best, you know? Like a guy that gets a tattoo, all of a sudden he doesn’t have any sleeves on his shirts anymore.
PR.com: Ice, what side of you will be shown on this reality show that no one has seen before?
Ice T: I think everyone has seen every side of me…
Coco Austin: I would say, probably more of the loving side, because even out [in public], you’ll hold my hand but you won’t see the lovey dovey [side].
Ice-T: Yeah. I’m a loving cat, and I’m more relaxed. The thing of it is, I’ve been around long enough that I think my real fans know I got a bunch of different sides. Maybe the people who just watch me on SVU, they probably think I walk around and sharpen knives all the time, and load guns. It’s kind of like if you met Clint Eastwood, you wouldn’t think that he could tell a joke. People who are caught up in my music and my professional persona, they won’t realize that I kick it and play video games and laugh and bullshit, and I’m a more laid back and fun person than the cats I play in my roles.
PR.com: Coco, have you domesticated Ice into a traditional husband?
Ice-T: What’s your definition of domesticated?
PR.com: (Laughs). I guess a guy who is home at night, rubbing his wife’s feet, watching a movie together, eating dinner together. Know what I mean?
Ice-T: Yes. I am domesticated.
Coco Austin: We have two lives together. We have the crazy relationship life where we go out, we party, and we have fun together as a couple. Then when we come home we relax. We play video game together, we watch DVDs together. We’re very homey people that just like to chill.
Ice-T: I think we spend more time in the domestic environment than we do in the other side of it. It’s just that there’s no pictures of us when we’re home. The only pictures you see is when we’re out, and so therefore that’s what people assume we do every day.
PR.com: Ice, when you first met Coco was it just lust at first sight?
Ice-T: Absolutely. I think whenever you meet somebody the first thing is physical attraction. That’s the first thing you do, you look at somebody and picture: can you imagine being intimate with the person. But at that time in my life I wasn’t really ready for just another lustful adventure. I wanted something a little more. I was ready to slow up and I was trying to find a partner. Honestly, I thought she was too pretty to be, as you would say, domesticated. Like, can we fit at home or is this a girl who just wants to party? But she was like, “No, I’m ready. Let’s just go snuggle someplace and do home stuff.”
PR.com: What qualities came out in Coco as you were dating that made you think, “I’m actually falling in love with this woman?”
Coco Austin: Awww.
Ice-T: She’s sincere, she’s sweet. She’s not silly on a relationship level. She’s goofy and playful, but she’s very sincere. She means what she says, she didn’t lie, she’s honest and she wasn’t materialistic. She was just like, “If you treat me right, I’ll treat you right.” That’s pretty much the basis to any good deal, just treat each other right. She’s lived up to the deal for the past ten years.
Coco Austin: And I wanted to become that ultimate woman for him. When I was around him for a couple weeks, I gathered all the facts of what he liked and what he didn’t like, and I just shape- shifted into that woman for him.
PR.com: But does that mean that you weren’t yourself, or you’re not yourself?
Ice-T: She is, but what Coco means is when she finds somebody she loves, she just wants to do the best at it. I think what you do when you look at your mate, you’re like, “Ok, well these are some of the things they dig, this is how they like it, and it’s not a problem. I can accommodate.” Hopefully the person you meet, what they want is you. But it’s kind of like, “Well I want somebody who can cook spaghetti.” Well then, you know what, I’m a fuckin’ spaghetti cook, how about that! And that’s when you say, “Wow, we’re a match here!”
PR.com: So it’s the little things like going above and beyond to make your partner happy. But not changing who you are at your core.
Ice-T: Hopefully your core is what that person’s falling in love with. When Coco met me I had on a red snakeskin suit, so that’s Ice-T’s core. She thought it was incredible. She loved it.
Coco Austin: And when he met me I was a model wearing a silver sequined top.
PR.com: Let’s talk about kids. I heard that one of the things that will come up on the show is the two of you deciding whether or not to have kids.
Ice-T: Not really, but the show has a lot to do with Coco’s sister having a baby, and because Coco’s sister is having a baby everyone wants to know whether or not we’re going to have a baby.
PR.com: Are you?
Ice-T: Coco’s not pregnant.
PR.com: Coco, are you afraid to lose your twenty-two inch waist and your figure if you get pregnant?
Coco Austin: (Laughs). There are doubts, I have to say, definitely. Like any woman has, I have issues regarding pregnancy.
Ice-T: But that’s not the reason. Right now we’re just in a busy stage in our life. I think because the episode is dealing with her sister, it’s all of a sudden become about us, but it ain’t really about us.
PR.com: Coco, besides your boobs, is the rest of your anatomy natural?
Coco Austin: Yes, 100%. If you saw my boobs before I got them done, they were actually a nice size; nice and squishy, waterly [sic], flip em’ around, you know…
Coco Austin: (Laughs). My hips were always a little bit bigger than the top half of me and I wanted to even it out.
Ice-T: She wanted symmetry.
Coco Austin: I wanted to have a little Coke bottle figure, so when I did that it was perfect and I haven’t had any problems since. I’m all for it. For all the women who are all weird about it, I think they should be open. If you have plastic surgery, then you have plastic surgery. It’s just to make you happy. If you don’t have something done that you want to have done, you’re going to be walking around and you’re just going to be unhappy. So just get it done, honestly.
PR.com: Ice, there was some breaking news today. Chris Meloni announced that he won’t be returning for season 13 of Law & Order SVU and Mariska Hargitay will be scaling back her role on the show. What’s the future of SVU without them?
Ice-T: From what I understand Mariska wanted to work less, so that’s done. I just heard yesterday about Chris’s situation so that was kind of like a bomb for me. I wasn’t really prepared for that. Right now I’m in negotiations. They haven’t really sealed my deal because I had to wait for those two to finish their deal. They’re moving a lot of things around at SVU. I know we got picked back up. Everybody is trying to get themselves in a good position so I don’t really know what’s going on, and I don’t know how Chris leaving will adjust my position on the show. I don’t think I’m going to step up and be number two because I didn’t really sign up to be a star. I kind of signed up to be the co-star ‘cause I have more flexibility. The honest to God truth, I’m kind of shocked about what happened with Chris and probably by the end of the week I’ll make my deal, or they’ll tell me to go take a hike, so we’ll see.
PR.com: I hope not. I don’t want you to take a hike. I like you on the show!
Ice-T: That’s not the vibe, but I have to go in there and try to get a paycheck too. They bullshittin’ right now; they gotta get it together (laughs).
PR.com: Do either of you read comments that people post on the blogs about your relationship?
Ice-T: We do Twitter. We have Twitter accounts and if you do Twitter you get your own little fanbase of people and you can block all the idiots. So therefore you can talk to people who appreciate what you’re doing. As far as just the rest of the sites, I think they’re all run by little boys and girls that live in their mothers’ basements.
PR.com: Right, so you don’t put any stock in that.
Ice-T: Why would you? It’s ninety percent lies, and it’s just people talking dumb shit.
Coco Austin: It’s too time consuming, and honestly, people with lives don’t really have the time to make comments at all. I don’t even have the time to go on the Internet anymore. Who has the time to actually log in, put your email address in, put if you’re female or male and all of that good stuff, and then make a comment…
Ice-T: … About somebody you don’t even know.
PR.com: Ice, obviously Coco gets stared at wherever she goes when she’s dressed up, whether people recognize her or not. Do you get jealous at all?
Ice-T: Not really. Whenever Coco is gonna go out she’ll show me what she’s gonna wear so I have a little creative control there (laughs). So we have fun with that, but no, I’m proud of Coco and Coco’s a hot, sexy girl. Guy’s will meet a girl who’s hot and sexy, cover her up and then go out and look at the other girls. Why wouldn’t I want to have my attention on my wife? And I really don’t have problems with it. Most people are very respectful, believe it or not. You don’t have a Ferrari and drive it around with the car cover on it. People think that Coco is walking down Times Square [looking] like that, but it’s not like that.
PR.com: Well, what is it Coco? Is your over-the-top appearance your brand that you’ve created?
Ice-T: It’s been her brand since she was in high school!
Coco Austin: Really, it’s my personality. I just like flashy fabulous clothes and even if I go to Canada, I want to wear those cute, high heeled boots. It depends on where I’m at. Honestly, whatever I’m wearing, it’s pretty much bright colors, prints and it’s saying a lot about who I am.
PR.com: You celebrate being a woman like nobody else can. You push the feminine envelope.
Coco Austin: Oh totally! I celebrate the woman’s form, are you kidding?! I don’t cover it up.
Ice-T: Coco’s got a hard body, so no matter what she puts on, it’s gonna look a little bit more… interesting.
Coco Austin: Even if I put a turtleneck on with some leggings, it doesn’t look like the normal turtleneck. People will say, “Oh, that’s skanky. How is a turtleneck skanky?
PR.com: It’s because of your shape. It’s not the men saying that it’s skanky. It’s mostly women who will say it looks skanky. Maybe some women feel threatened by you.
Ice-T: That’s their problem. Coco’s not doing it to make them feel threatened. Coco’s just having fun and enjoying herself. But for all of the women who feel threatened, there are so many women out there who don’t feel threatened. There are so many women that applaud her and go, “That’s right girl! Do your thing!”
Coco Austin: Most of the women who follow me or who have been my fans for a long time, they’re all about it. They’re like, “You’ve given me confidence that I can wear stuff that I’ve always wanted to, but I was always self-conscious of my curves.” I’m actually breaking it all up for women out there who feel like their bodies are hideous. They shouldn’t feel that way. It should be a beautiful thing.
PR.com: Coco, since we’re on the subject, tell me about your new clothing line, Licious.
Coco Austin: It just came out the other day at LiciousClothing.com. It’s for modern, sexy, curvy women. The fabrics are all stretch so it’s going to stretch on any body type. It’s from size 2 to 14. Even when girls have problems with their waste or their thighs, my pants will be able to help you. Also, it’s to celebrate the womanly form. So if you want to express that, then my clothes are for you.
PR.com: Let’s talk about the E! cameras that followed you around for Ice Loves Coco. How much access did you give this camera crew, and what was off limits?
Ice-T: They have access to you, but they don’t have access to every single day of your life. When they are in your area you’re just aware the cameras are there, and you’re going through whatever you’re going through. You don’t shoot every single day. So you know they’re going to be there this day, and you move forward with it.
PR.com: Did you let them into your bedroom?
Ice-T: Some things in our bedroom, but we’re not fucking or nothing.
Coco Austin: Ha Ha!
PR.com: Yes, I’m aware (laughs). It’s the E! channel, not the Playboy channel.
Coco Austin: Exactly!
Ice-T: They shoot in our bedroom, they shoot in Coco’s closet, they shoot in our living room, in Coco’s office, in the car, and here and there. But I think people think that when you say “reality,” a camera will just barge in on you while you’re sitting on the toilet. It’s not that serious.
PR.com: Is there one particular outrageous moment?
Ice-T: Oh, it’s all outrageous!
“Ice Loves Coco” premieres Sunday, June 12th at 10:30/9:30c on E!
Follow Ice-T on Twitter @finallevel and follow Coco @cocosworld.