Petra Němcová

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Petra Němcová
Petra Nemcova 2012 Shankbone.JPG
Němcová in 2012
Born Petra Němcová
(1979-06-24) 24 June 1979 (age 35)
Karviná, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic)[1]
Modeling information
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)[1]
Weight 117 lb/53 kg
Hair color Brown[1]
Eye color Hazel[1]
Measurements 33B–24–34 (US)
84–61–86.5 (EU)[1]
Manager ONE Model Management (New York, Los Angeles, Miami, London, Paris, Milan); Unique One, Mikas, View Management

Petra Němcová (Czech pronunciation: [ˈpɛtra ˈɲɛmtsovaː]; born 24 June 1979) is a Czech model, television host, and philanthropist. Following injuries in Thailand by a tsunami resulting from the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, during which her fiancé the photographer Simon Atlee was killed, Němcová founded and now chairs the Happy Hearts Fund.

Early life[edit]

Petra Němcová was born 24 June 1979, in Karviná, then Czechoslovakia, now the Czech Republic. She grew up in Karviná in the Moravian–Silesian Region with her sister Olga.



Scouted on the streets of Prague by NEXT Model Management, upon signing she moved to Milan, Italy. After winning the 1995 Czech Elite Model Look, she returned to Milan where her career flourished.

She has featured in campaigns for: Benetton, Bulgari, Cartier, Clarins, Cortefiel, Dirk Bikkembergs, Fortunoff, Graff, Hewlett Packard/Intel, HS, Intimissimi, John Lewis, Lancaster, La Perla, La Senza, Maidenform, Max Factor, Pantene Pro-V, Passport, Playtex, Rampage, Schwarzkopf, Victoria's Secret, and Wild Orchid.[2] Additionally, she has appeared on the covers of Madame Figaro, Elle, Shape, Cosmopolitan, Flare, Vegas, Glamour, FHM, and Sports Illustrated.[2]

From 2000 to 2004, she worked for designers Lolita Lempicka, Gai Mattiolo Erreuno, Matthew Williamson, Custo Barceloa, Blunauta, Dirk Bikkembergs, Gugliemo Cappone, Luciano soprani, Marina Babini, Yumi Katsura, Akadius, and Michino Koshino.[2]

Němcová globally broke-through outside the fashion industry after featuring on the cover of the 2003 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, from a shoot in Barbados by Walter Iooss. She also appeared in the 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 editions.[1] In addition to working with world class photographers on her Sports Illustrated shoots, she was the object/subject of Joanne Gair's body painting work.[3]

Petra is currently signed to Mikas in Stockholm, View Management in Barcelona, Unique One in Prague, and "Next Model Management" in London, Paris, Milan, New York, Miami, and Los Angeles.


In 2001, the up-and-coming model appeared on British television series Absolutely Fabulous.[4] On 3 June 2004, she was one of the telecast judges during the 53rd annual Miss Universe competition in Quito, Ecuador. In 2007, she was the host of TLC's A Model Life. On 7 July 2007 she was a presenter at the American leg of Live Earth and appeared in the music video "Misfit" by American indie group Elefant.[1] She is currently working with HP computers to produce a multi-million dollar TV and web campaign.[5]

She was a contestant on season 12 of Dancing with the Stars and her professional dance partner was Dmitry Chaplin.[6][7] She was voted off in the 5th week of the competition and came in 8th place. Dancing with the Stars performances:

Week # Dance Style/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Foxtrot/"Don't Know Why" 6 6 6 No Elimination
2 Jive/"Crazy Little Thing Called Love" 6 6 6 Safe
3 Waltz/"You Raise Me Up" 8 9 8 Safe
4 Paso Doble/"Les Voici! Voici La Quadrille!" 8 7 8 Safe
5 Quickstep/"Viva Las Vegas" 7 7 8 Eliminated

Other ventures[edit]

In 2005, Němcová released her autobiography Love Always, Petra (ISBN 0446579130) published December 2005, which tells of her early life under Communist rule in Czechoslovakia, her entrance into the field of fashion and modeling, and her breakthrough into Sports Illustrated, which was her springboard to becoming a supermodel. She also tells of her life with Simon Atlee and how they fell in love and became engaged to marry.

In 2008, Němcová partnered with New York agency Aglow Properties to sell two apartments around the $25 million mark.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Němcová is multilingual and speaks Czech, Slovak, Polish, English, French and Italian. In December 2010, she became engaged to English actor Jamie Belman.[9] In April 2012, it was announced that Němcová and Belman had ended their engagement.[10] On 2 May 2013 in an interview, Haiti's Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe confirmed that he and Němcová are in a relationship.[11]

2004 tsunami[edit]

During the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, Němcová was at the Khao Lak resort in Thailand with her main photographer and fiancé, Simon Atlee, when the tsunami struck where they were staying. Initially, Atlee was presumed missing, but his body was found and identified on 3 March 2005, on the shores of Sumatra (near the epicenter of the earthquake that caused the tsunami).[citation needed]

Atlee had drowned, and Němcová suffered a broken pelvis and serious internal injuries, but she managed to hold onto the top of a palm tree, reportedly for eight hours, until she was rescued by Thai civilians and airlifted to an inland hospital nearby.[12] Němcová spent three weeks in a Thai hospital, and then flew home to the Czech Republic, where she spent an additional three weeks in the hospital. Němcová's first interview after her near-death experience was with Diane Sawyer on ABC's Primetime Live, on 9 March 2005. She has also spoken of her experiences on the Larry King Live program on CNN.


In 2005, Němcová created the Happy Hearts Fund (HHF), a charitable organization and campaign formed after her survival and recovery from the Tsunami of 2004. When Němcová returned to Thailand a few months after the tsunami, she witnessed families without homes, children without parents and entire communities swept away. She was most affected by the children and sought to figure out a way to help them rebuild their lives and bring back hope and opportunity. Unsatisfied with the response of organizations that were unable to specify which children, or even which country, would benefit, Němcová set out to create her own entity and structured it so that all administrative costs would be underwritten, thereby ensuring that 100% of all donations received would be directed to children's programming.[13] She also helped in the recovery efforts of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 with HHF.

On 12 November 2007 Němcová visited Haiti alongside Haitian-born musician Wyclef Jean as part of a charity-sponsored event. The inauguration of a computer lab and an eatery in the slums of Port-au-Prince were funded and sponsored by Jean's Yéle Haïti Foundation and Němcová's Happy Hearts Fund.

On 15 December 2009, Němcová and HHF Executive Director Phillip Caputo launched the "Bring Happiness Back!" campaign at the United Nations to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunami. That same day, Němcová and Caputo also participated in the closing bell ceremonies at NASDAQ where the "Bring Happiness Back!" Campaign was also highlighted.[14]

In 2008 she went with Happy Hearts Fund to Peru to help children who were affected by the 2007 Peru earthquake.

In June 2012, she was designated in a private ceremony by president of Haiti, Michel Martelly and Prime Minister, Laurent Lamothe as Ambassador-at-Large for Haiti for her work with Happy Hearts Fund.[15]

Glamour magazine awarded Němcová a "Survivor Award" in 2005 for her charity work following her tsunami ordeal.

In November 2011, Němcová was appointed as Honorary Consul from the Czech Republic to Haiti by the government of Haiti.

Němcová is a supporter of the NY- and DC-based nonprofit Only Make Believe. Only Make Believe is a 501(c)(3) organization that creates and performs interactive plays in children's hospitals and care facilities. In 2012, Němcová acted as the face of Only Make Believe in lighting the Empire State Building and received the James Hammerstein Award, for her outstanding dedication to children in need, at the 2012 "Make Believe on Broadway" Gala. She also acted as the Celebrity Ambassador for Only Make Believe at Bloomberg Tradebook's 2nd Annual Charity Day.[citation needed]


External links[edit]