COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - She was known to many as Columbus' princess who made a name for herself as an actress and model from the south.
She was the face of hair products like Creme of Nature and Clairol. Kim Porter also graced the cover to Jet Magazine, but her roots began in the Fountain City.
"She went to modeling school here in Columbus and they would travel to Hilton Head and she won quite a few contests there. She won the "Model of the South there, added Carolyn Ross.
Porter’s aunt Carolyn Ross said that title was Porter’s big break. It led to other local gigs--- modeling for stores in Columbus and then onto New York and internationally.
Her aunt, grandmother, aunt-in-law, and cousin sat down for an exclusive interview with News Leader 9 inside Porter’s home that she shared with her mother, Sarah Porter. She died in 2014 from cancer. We even got a chance to see Kim’s lily white bedroom, special pillow with “we love our Kim” engraved on it, and her favorite childhood instrument.
"Her mom would say, Kim it’s time to practice on the piano and she would come sit with me here and she taught me the Annie song,” stated Ardericka Goodwin, who grew up as Kim’s sister.
Her family describes her as a gracious person who never met a stranger. She graduated from Columbus High School in 1988 and moved to New York City. There, she hit the runway and met media mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs. After becoming his receptionist, the two fell in love and had three children together, often seen on the Hollywood’s red carpet events.
Then tragedy struck Thursday, one month before her 48th birthday. Porter’s grandmother, owner of Royal Cafe in Columbus since 1964, spoke to her granddaughter the day before she died.
"She told me she felt better and that the doctor had been to her house and he gave her an antibiotic, said Lila Mae Star.
Star also said it was heart breaking for the entire family to learn her granddaughter was dead, especially from social media. When she spoke with Diddy over the phone, he said, “My baby is gone, my baby is gone.”
Porter leaves behind four children including 11 year-old-twin girls, 27-year-old Quincy Brown, and 21-year-old Christian Combs.
Funeral arrangements are still pending.