Birthname: Karla ??? Rhamdanie
Children: One daughter, Emily Jade (b. 1998) (Father, Dave Walsh)
Currently Resides: in the Dublin (Ireland) area
Previous Job: Model
Current Job: Personal Image Consultant
How She Met Joe:
They were practically next-door neighbors on Mount Merrion Ave. in Blackrock, and a mutual friend set them up on a date in 1984.
Karla was born in Dublin to an Irish mother and an Indian father, a doctor who studied in the College of Surgeons; they moved to Trinidad when Karla was two. Her parents split when she was 12, and Karla and her mother moved back to Dublin and lived in the family home in Walkinstown. She was, she says, "bullied a lot" at school because she was "different to the other girls".
This difference had its benefits. At 16, Karla was walking down Grafton Street with her mother when a photographer approached her and asked if she could do a test shoot with her. Later that week, she was doing a swimwear shoot for Switzers (now Brown Thomas) and her path to becoming one of Ireland's most famous models had begun. She did Pretty Polly ads, magazine covers shot by Tony Higgins and was generally the toast of le tout Pink Elephant along with the other It Girls of the mid-Eighties such as Laura Bermingham.
"I enjoyed that time," she says. "It was great fun."
Karla did acting with Gaiety School of Acting (Patrick Sutton) and went on to
a three year exclusive contract with William Morris (London). She was a top
fashion model with agencies in Ireland, Paris and Germany. When she became
romantically involved with Joe, she put her career on hold so that she could be
with him during his grueling touring schedule. Karla is credited with creating
Joe's shredded pants, and, from what we hear, his spray-painted shirts.
It is common knowledge that Karla gave Joe an ultimatum to
either say goodbye to his current girlfriend, Denise, or her. Joe chose to be
with Karla, and the two wed in Sheffield on October 4, 1989. "I was madly in love with him," she says, "He was the love of my life. I remember coming out of the registry office in Sheffield and looking at the wall with all the graffiti on it and going: 'This is romantic!' (Laughs)"
Joe and Karla quickly
became rock's foremost couple; we've heard them remembered fondly as "the heavy
metal Posh 'n' Becks".
Things would eventually get rocky, and both Joe and Karla would
recount different stories later; however, both admit that her desire to have children once they were married became a major issue. What resulted was an affair between Joe and the
Adrenalize tour stewardess, Bobbie Tolsma. Joe and Karla seperated in 1994, and
their divorce was final in June of 1996.
Karla was clearly devastated by her failed marriage. It seems
that she has never been the same in the Love Department. She has had a string of
engagements and failed relationships since Joe (Dave Walsh, Declan Burke, Conrad
Gallagher, David Doane, etc.).
In November 2007, Karla bought a health, beauty and detox center called Sanas. Sanas had previously been owned by Betty Cosgrave. By the Spring of 2008, Sanas closed, and Karla was left in financial ruins.
Karla went from the Dublin socialite scene to being forced to sell all of her belongings to make endes meet.
Clippings and Articles:
"Leppard Tales Meets Karla"
Handwritten note from Joe on the wedding.
News coverage of the wedding.
Leppard Tales announces the wedding.
"The Shelbourne 'Shindig'" - Rock Squad
Page 1, Page 2 & Page 3
"Why Joe Struts His Stuff For Me" - Evening Times - March 25, 1994
Page 1, Page 2
"Joe Splits from Wife" - The Star - December 5, 1994
"News of the World catches Leppard Star with New Love as Wife Waits for Return" - News of the World - February 19, 1995
Page 1,Page 2
"Conrad's Love Life Goes Off the Boil (Star Chef Gallagher Walks Out on Karla)
All articles without scans.
Portions of the info above taken from Independent.ie