Then still known as Kate Fischer, she was in her early 30s and single. Having broken up with fiancé James Packer five years earlier, the statuesque brunette had been the VIP guest at an event hosted by Sydney “jeweller to the stars” Nic Cerrone.
“That night I was wearing a fetching cocktail dress, at the invitation of Nic, and I gave
a speech about diamonds in exchange for a little bauble Nic gave me, and was just milling around, talking to people like Kerri-Anne Kennerley and Alan Jones,” Tziporah, 46, recalls.
“At the time, I was based in LA, just flitting back to Sydney from time to time for work so I certainly wasn’t looking for a relationship.”
“But that night, Richard seemed to have been hit by Cupid’s [arrow]. I remember seeing him across the room in a suit similar to the kind Don Johnson used to wear in Miami Vice. He spotted me and headed over to have a chat. I already knew Richard through TV circles and was happy to see him, at first. We had a good conversation.”
She says Richard soon began flirting with her.
“At first I was a little taken aback,” Tziporah remembers of Richard whom she says was oozing with charm.
As the night continued, Tziporah says Richard explained to her how much he loved his family.
“He told me he was really way more a family man than a showbiz man. Then he looked me in the eye and blurted, ‘why don’t we get out of here and go somewhere else?’”
Despite being flattered, Tziporah is adamant the night ended with the pair going home separately.
In fact she spent the rest of the evening mingling with the crowd and chatting with Alan Jones.
“I spotted Alan in the corner of my eye so I dashed over and struck up a conversation with him.”
Adds Tziporah: “I mean, I was quite surprised that the dashing Dickie wanted to romance me. I guess it made sense that two tall TV types could end up in the boudoir together – and he is an attractive, knowledgeable fellow.
“But really, where could it have gone? I was living in LA.”
Now, 15 years on, Tziporah says: “Surprisingly, over the years people have persistently asked me if Richard and I were ever more than friends.
“I know plenty of women who have fallen for his charms, but no, he and I never were
While it’s been a long time since Richard and Tziporah have seen each other, she says she recently bonded with Richard’s rising-star son Christian, 24, who’s landed a role on Dancing with the Stars.
“I met him a few days ago when he and I both appeared on Studio 10 to talk about the Oscars.
“What a divine handsome and charming chap he is, just like his father. I think he’s destined to go far in showbiz, perhaps even further than his old man!”
She adds with a chuckle, “Just think, if I’d got together with his dad 15 years ago, perhaps it would have led to something big, and I’d have become Christian’s step-mummy!”
For more, see this week's New Idea - out now!