Carmen Electra has had quite a career. The actress got her start after catching the attention of a legendary musician and went on to pose for Playboy covers, land a starring role in Baywatch, and star in a series of beloved campy comedies. However, Electra’s romantic life has been just as eventful as her career. Here’s a breakdown of the bombshell’s confirmed conquests as well as her rumored flings.
You read right: Carmen Electra’s first public relationship was the “Purple Rain” singer himself. When Electra first met Prince in Minneapolis, she was Tara Leigh Patrick, an aspiring performer from Sharonville, Ohio. At the time, she was auditioning for a spot in an all-girl band the singer was putting together. However, Prince had bigger plans.
“I received a call from Prince saying ‘I think you should be your own artist and not back up anyone else. I’m going to write you a song and if you like it, you can record it,”” Electra recalled years later. He also gave her a new moniker—the very same one she’s still using today.
It’s unclear when the pair first met or when their romance began, but it came to a definitive end in the early ’90s when Prince wanted to move back to Minnesota and Electra wanted to stay in LA. The two didn’t end things on bad terms, however. When Electra heard of the icon’s death in 2016, she told E!: “He made me who I am today… I think of Prince every day.”
Electra’s next high-profile romance began in 1998. By this time, the star had been featured in Playboy multiple times and had landed a starring role as Lani McKenzie in Baywatch. It wasn’t long before she fell hard and fast for NBA star Dennis Rodman. As a rising star in the entertainment world, Electra met Rodman on the party scene, leading to a wild, months-long affair. “Dennis was considered the bad boy of basketball,” Electra said in the documentary The Last Dance, “and I like bad boys.”
After months of dating, tragedy struck Electra’s family. Her mom was diagnosed with brain cancer, and her condition was deteriorating fast. As her mother went through treatment, her sister unexpectedly died of a heart attack in her sleep. Her mother ultimately lost her cancer battle, passing away just two weeks later.
Electra told Glamour years later that she threw herself into her relationship with Rodman to distract from her overwhelming grief. Shortly after her mother and sister’s deaths, Electra married Rodman in Las Vegas. Their marriage only lasted about five months before they amicably split. They are still friends today.
When Carmen Electra met Dave Navarro, guitarist for Jane’s Addiction and eventual host of Ink Master, she had been single for about a year. Navarro, who struggled with addiction in the past, was going through his own healing journey. They both had been through therapy and put in the work to be better people.
So, when they crossed paths in the early 2000s, they became serious almost immediately. Having both lost their mothers too soon, Electra has recalled feeling a kinship with the rocker, and to this day calls him her “twin flame.” In the months leading up to their wedding, the pair agreed to be filmed for MTV’s ‘Til Death Do Us Part: Carmen and Dave. They filed for divorce in 2007 after nearly four years of marriage.
People later speculated that Navarro was unfaithful to Electra and that’s what led to their split, although the rumors were never confirmed. However, Electra insists she and her ex-husband are still great friends. After posting a selfie with Navarro in 2017, fans wondered if they were back together, to which Electra responded: “Marriage is pushing it but I do adore him and he’s doing great… I’ll always love him.”
In 2008, just one year after separating from Navarro, Electra got engaged to Rob Patterson. Not much is known about the couple’s courtship, and their engagement came as a surprise to everyone. For years, they were engaged to be married but never made solid wedding plans.
In 2010, two years after announcing their engagement, Electra told People they hadn’t set a date. “We’re happy the way things are,” the actress asserted. However, it may have been a sign of what was to come.
Then, just as mysteriously as they got together, the couple split. Despite never publicly calling off her engagement, Electra joined Fox’s celebrity dating show The Choice in 2012. The move certainly left fans’ heads spinning, but the Scary Movie 4 actress has kept quiet about her time with Patterson. There was some speculation that Patterson’s partying became too much for Electra, but those rumors were never confirmed. What seemed clear was that Electra was ready to move on.
In 1999, Electra sparked dating rumors with her Baywatch co-star Pamela Anderson’s ex-husband: the one and only Tommy Lee. The messy pair certainly got the tabloids’ attention, but their romance didn’t seem to stick. It’s still unclear what exactly went down between Electra and the Motley Crew drummer, but the maybe-exes sent tongues wagging again in 2017 after attending Coachella together.
That same year, Electra seemed to have a brief infatuation with Limp Bizkit rapper Fred Durst. Their rumored romance peaked when Durst showed up to the MTV premiere of Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace. Little is known about this pairing, but friends of Durst have shared some crude locker room talk that makes it seem like their connection wasn’t very deep.
In 2012, Electra got cozy with British TV personality Simon Cowell. While filling in as a guest judge on Britain’s Got Talent, Electra had some palpable chemistry with Cowell. The pair was spotted having dinner together on multiple occasions, and people were convinced they were an item.
However, Electra denied the rumors, insisting he was good company but they never went further than flirting. “We never dated. We didn’t date,” she insisted. “He wasn’t my man.”