When Carmen Electra began dating Dennis Rodman in 1998, she had just experienced the devastating loss of her mother to a fatal brain tumor. Though the 26-year-old's career was taking off -- Electra had landed a role on television's "Baywatch" and was one of the hosts of MTV's "Singled Out" -- she says that she was still emotionally fragile and struggling to cope with her mother's death.
At the time, as Electra tells "Oprah: Where Are They Now?", her relationship was a welcome distraction from the pain she was experiencing.
"Dennis was the life of the party," Electra remembers. "He was fun."
Soon after her mother's death, Electra and Rodman got married in Las Vegas after a whirlwind months-long romance. From the start, their relationship was a media circus, and many questioned what the young rising star and model saw in a outrageous basketball player with a penchant for getting into trouble. "People couldn't understand why I loved him because he had a reputation for being a bad boy," Electra says.
On the outside, they seemed like an unusual pairing, but Electra says that she saw the softer side of Rodman and sincerely believed they were actually quite similar.
"What I saw in the beginning was this sort of a gentle giant that was in a lot of pain," she explains. "So in a way, we understood each other."
Electra and Rodman were married for less than a year before officially divorcing in 1999.
"Our relationship was very passionate," she says, looking back. "When it was good, it was amazing. And when it was bad, it was the worst."
Electra opens up about another high-profile relationship (with Dave Navarro), how Prince helped launch her career and more on this weekend's episode of "Oprah: Where Are They Now?" airing Sunday, Oct. 19, at 9 p.m. ET on OWN.