We are sad to confirm the news that Chris Rifkin, the popular photographer who finally collaborated on his first #HustleBootyTempTats supermodel cover feature with the sensational Kari Nautique for this edition of FHM South Africa tragically passed away before the magazine went to print. In this heartbreaking exclusive story, Kari talks about what a wonderful man Chris was, and why this cover feature means so very much to her!
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Reporter Alex Watkins has all the details:
Multi-time FHM cover model Kari Nautique is one of the most respected and well known supermodels in the entire world. The gorgeous blonde bombshell from the Sunshine State of Florida is always smiling, even on days where her presence is required on set for 18 or more hours. “Kari Nautique is a ray of light on even the darkest of days,” noted fellow former Playboy sensation Wendi April. “Her smile permeates the room, the atmosphere, the set and beams across the entire modeling industry. Kari is an absolute force of nature!”
So it is with a heavy heart that we here at FHM break the terrible news that noted photographer Chris Rifkin, well known as “one of the really good guys” in the business, passed away from Pancreatic Cancer shortly before this magazine went to press. The photographs that appear in this article are a result of Chris and Kari’s collaboration during an exclusive photoshoot on a $20,000,000 USD estate in Scottsdale, Arizona as part of the legendary Paul Heyman’s #HustleBootyTempTats supermodel brand.
As many of you know, we here at FHM have previously reported that Kari, the very first #HustleBootyTempTats supermodel, has been at the forefront of Heyman’s global of the brand’s phenomenon. “The #HustleBootyTempTats supermodel brand has certainly expanded exponentially from its humble roots as a hysterical conversation between Playboy’s sexiest digital superstar and the disruptor of the sports entertainment industry,” we reported in a cover story last year. “The current #HustleBootyTempTats supermodel roster includes the World’s Most Beautiful Athlete, Paddleboarding Champion (and mother of four kids) Jala Sue; International Film Festival Best Actress Laura Petersen; 2022’s hottest new supermodel (as named by FHM) Summer Soderstrom; Pam Anderson’s heir apparent to the claim of being the Queen of the California Beach Blonde Bombshells, Miss Lynnie Marie; fitness champions and female empowerment gurus Whitney Johns and Ali Lee; and – as just confirmed by FHM UK – the newest addition to the roster, “The Beauty From Budapest,” London-based swimwear and lingerie sensation Borbala Kreutz.”
Shortly after shooting this gorgeous cover feature exclusively for FHM in Scottsdale, Kari was tasked with delivering the tragic news about Rifkin’s passing to the entire modeling world.
“Chris Rifkin has been a friend of mine for over 8 years,” Kari told everyone in a heartfelt message we are posting with her permission. “I first met Chris just nine weeks after my son was born. I had a budding swimwear line, but no money to hire a photographer and models; and zero confidence in my post-partum body. I didn’t know him then, but Chris so excitedly stepped up to the task. He gave me the confidence to get back into modeling just by being genuinely kind and so motivated to work with me. Since that day in 2014, almost every country or event I’ve worked, Chris was sure to be there. I can tell you, and so can so many other models who were fortunate enough to work with this wonderful man, that Chris Rifkin was always the friendly face shooting literally from sunrise to sunset, every single trip. He was not only a hard worker, but he was also the consummate professional; and on top of that, he was always, without exception, so easy to work with.”
Kari, to whom we extended our deepest condolences (along with all the family, friends and worldwide fans of Chris’ work), continued, “Chris always brought his guitar to wherever we were because he loved prog metal, and if we could catch a New York Giants game on TV, he’d be right there cheering them on with me. Chris Rifkin was one of the most genuine, authentic humans left on this planet.”
“It’s so unfair,” Kari cried. “Chris was undeserving of this diagnosis. But now that he’s at peace, it’s beautiful to see all these amazing tributes to him across social media for such a fantastic person. And it brings me true joy to know that together, we achieved one of his lifelong dreams, to shoot a cover of FHM!”
In this reporter’s dealings with Chris Rifkin, I always found him to be everything Kari spoke about. He was the quintessential “good guy,” a beacon of positive energy. We here at The Heyman Hustle and FHM are proud to feature his work. As Paul Heyman himself told us, “Chris Rifkin will be sorely missed. He was a fantastic photographer, and an even better man!”