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Wednesday, 23 February, 2000, 11:58 GMT
Millionaire marriage on the rocks

Rockwell and Conger
Rockwell and Conger went their separate ways after the honeymoon

The controversial marriage of Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire couple Rick Rockwell and Darva Conger looks like it is over before it had even begun.

Rockwell - who is facing allegations that he hit and threatened a former fiancée - said in a television interview that he and Conger had not consummated their marriage and they would probably have it annulled.

Rick Rockwell Rockwell likes public performance
The couple - he a 42-year-old entertainer-turned-property developer, she a 34-year-old Gulf War veteran-and-nurse - met and married last week on the Fox TV show after he picked her from five finalists.

However, scandal hit both the newlyweds and the show's producers after it emerged that Rockwell had been put under a restraining order in 1991 by former fiancée Debbie Goyne.

In the interview with rival network NBC, Rockwell reiterated his denials that he had slapped and threatened to kill model Goyne.

But he confirmed he and Conger had been returned to their separate homes in California since the honeymoon.

The couple had made a pre-nuptial agreement allowing either of them to opt-out of the marriage.

Conger and Rockwell kiss The couple were married onscreen
The Fox network decided to axe the marriage show after only one edition despite it having attracted viewing figures of 22.8 million - a record for the network - and its highest-ever ratings for women aged 18-34.

The two-hour show involved 50 women parading before Rockwell in swimming costumes and wedding dresses.

Rockwell chose Conger from the group and married her on air.

However, on Tuesday it was reported that Goyne had issued a restraining order against him after he allegedly turned violent when she tried to break off their engagement.

Although Rockwell denies striking Goyne, he told NBC that he had a temper but that "it doesn't manifest itself too often".

Rick Rockwell house Rockwell's home in California
Fox says it is looking into how thoroughly the show's producers - Next Entertainment - looked into Rockwell's and his potential brides' backgrounds.

Next said that it specifically asked Rockwell on several occasions if there was anything in his past that might embarrass him or the show, and he said there was not.

Rockwell said he believed the restraining order would have been erased after a period of seven years.

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See also:
22 Feb 00 |  Entertainment
Scandal-hit US show axed

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