Nicole Narain would like an apology. Since Colin Farrell
named her as a codefendant in the law-suit he filed on July 18 to prevent the sale of an X-rated videotape the two made in 2002, the Playboy Playmate says she has lost work—modeling jobs and Playboy promotional appearances—as well as sleep. "I try not to let too many things get to me, but this is definitely stressful," she says, enjoying the quiet in her North Hollywood condo only because she has unplugged her pink fur-covered phone. As she tells it, she doesn't want the steamy video made public any more than Farrell does. "I really would like my name to be cleared," she says. "I have nothing to do with this."
Farrell begs to differ. According to a statement from his lawyer Martin Singer, the actor offered Narain the opportunity to "join with us in stopping the tape from being exploited... and she refused." And so she was named as a codefendant in his lawsuit, along with agent-producer David Hans Schmidt. For his part Schmidt makes no apologies about his intent to sell the tape. "I have a written agreement," he says, "that authorizes me to procure the sale and distribution of the Colin Farrell
-Nicole Narain sex video."
Not any authorization granted by her, insists Narain, 31. "The only time I ever spoke to him, I told him he didn't have my consent," she says. Whatever the source of the confusion, this much is sure: Narain didn't foresee the trouble when she buzzed Farrell into her second-floor L.A. apartment in August of 2002. A year earlier, the native of Aurora, Ill., had been modeling in the Chicago area—where previously she had worked in shipping at General Mills. She was out clubbing one night in 2001, met a Playboy exec, moved to L.A., and before long the childhood tomboy had been crowned the magazine's Miss January 2002. In July of that year, Narain met Farrell at a Playboy Mansion party. "We just hit it off instantly," she says. "He's like a free spirit, just like me."
Spirited is right. A month later, they made the video together. "There's nothing off the wall about [the tape]," says Narain. "It's just two people enjoying each other physically." Six months or so after it began, their relationship "fizzled," she says, because "he wasn't in town a lot." But they remained on good terms. About five months ago, she says, they ran into each other, and Farrell asked her to make him a copy of the tape. She did—but it never got to him. Schmidt, her codefendant in the law-suit, won't say how the tape came into his possession.
While her lawyer conducts an investigation, Narain, sounding guarded, says that "whether it was lost or stolen cannot be discussed." She thinks either is possible: "I've moved three times in the last two months, and all the parties I had before I left..." Narain insists that on July 13, as soon as she heard a copy of the tape was circulating, she called Farrell on his cell phone: "I was crying. I told him, 'I don't understand how this happened.' He said, 'Calm down. Without my consent or yours, nothing is going to happen.' " Narain says she did not agree to his request to grant him "entire ownership" of the tape. "It's partly mine too," she says. "I do have rights." Still, she says, she did not consent to its distribution—which is why her name in the lawsuit has left her, she says, "a little bit confused."
And a lot hurt. "She's a strong person, but she's very upset," says her mother, Rose, who raised Nicole and her two siblings as a single mom. "I call her every day and tell her to keep her head up. Hopefully, it'll be over soon." In the meantime, Narain benefits from the unexpected coverage the ordeal is providing. She is using it in a reality show about her life, produced by her friend and former Miss Ohio Candace Smith, that she is shopping to the networks and cable stations. Narain is still angry that Farrell has "painted me in this horrible light," she says. But if he apologized, she would forgive him—and then some. "Maybe we'd make another tape," she says with a grin. "A longer version."
Karen S. Schneider. Johnny Dodd in Los Angeles
- Johnny Dodd.