''Multimillionaire'' bride granted annulment.

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Darva Conger, 34, who wed Rick Rockwell, 42, in front of 22 million television viewers in February on the FOX-TV special ''Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire'' was granted the annulment after her lawyer told the judge that the union was a fraud.

The emergency room nurse, who lost her job after Rockwell's allegedly violent past turned ``Multimillionaire'' from a ratings sensation into a national scandal, told reporters outside court that she was ``relieved'' to be a single woman again.

``I never should have been there to begin with,'' Conger said. ``I never should have been there. I didn't want to be.''

Are we supposed to feel sympathy for this woman? She parades around a stage to be "chosen" then after she finds out the guy hasn't got the cash and past, all of a sudden she announces ths she's just a "romantic at heart with good Christian values".

The now Ms.Conger

-- Anonymous, April 05, 2000


Yes, we should feel sympathy for her. Or at least we should pity her, just like we should pity all those other sad people who just can't resist when they get the chance to show their faces on television. Last year, we had a tv-show in Holland called Big Brother in the Netherlands, featuring a group of outrageously boring people who were being locked up inside a house for three months on end while they were continuously being filmed. Every week, the audience could vote out the person they wanted to get rid of, and at the end of those three months the single survivor got a huge pile of cash. Beforehand everyone was revolted by the very idea, but it soon became the most popular show ever featured on Dutch tv - which means a great deal in a country where the soccer competition is an almost sacred institution, far more popular than baseball in the U.S. Most of the participants became celebrities, but some of them were deliberately presented to the audience as backstabbers, and they suffered for it when they returned to the real world. In the past few months we've seen numerous spinoffs - reality soap with a competition element thrown in 'to keep it interesting'.

For most people, participating in these shows starts as nothing more than a joke, and they hardly ever realize that it can backfire horribly until it's just too late. They don't have a clue about the amount of exposure they're getting, and they certainly have no idea about the way the producers are presenting them onscreen. I'm pretty sure it was the same with Ms. Conger, although I haven't seen the show.

So yes, I think that we should sympathize and that we should take a lesson from this - the woman got in over her head, not realizing the real power of tv. The best thing for her to do is hide under a rock somewhere until it all blows over.

By the way, I've heard that American television has expressed serious interest in the Big Brother formula. Don't say I didn't warn you.....

-- Anonymous, April 06, 2000

Stijn, you are right. One of the major U.S. networks -- CBS, I think -- is planning to put a number of people on a desert island for something like a month. They will remove people until only one is left -- I think the "islanders" themselves do the voting on who has to go -- and the remaining individual gets a cash award. The whole thing will be filmed and turned into a weekly, one-hour tlevision program.

I hear that people are clamoring to be considered for the desert island, and I'm sure not one of them has thought about the possible effects that stay will have on their future. Obviously, if the show is successful, at least some of the cast members are going to be vilified and excluded, and we will all know their names. I feel sorry for them, as I do for Darva Conger.

I think these shows are a slippery slope. For years we had TV violence where the villains got shot up -- but that was okay because they were only make-believe. Then news started making real-life villains into celebrities in a way that they had not traditionally been -- think about the media treatment of Susan Smith (drowned her kids and then claimed they were carjcked), Pamela Smart (had her 16 year old lover shoot her husband), Amy Fisher, Joey Buttafuoco, Charles Adams, even Jeffrey Dahmer. They were interviewed and allowed to talk about themselves, garnering sympathy and fans in a way that was never made available to the Rosenbergs and the kidnapper of the Lindbergh baby. We hated them, but that was okay because they were bad.

Now the media is moving into voluntarily making real people the villains -- Darva Conger and Rick Rockwell's lives are ruined, and they didn't do anything worse than appear on TV. But that's okay, because they volunteered. I think the next step on this slope will be televised 'Fight Club' confrontations to settle a grudge between neighbors (filmed in states that permit you to waive your right to complain about assault and battery). It's only a short step down from Judge Judy. But can it be stopped? After all, it's part and parcel of free speech . . .

-- Anonymous, April 06, 2000

Hey Stijn. Onjelovelyk! (Okay, so I can't spell en Hollandse. Sorry.)

I used to feel a little sorry for Darva, but not anymore. Jay Thomas said she was all about "I want to win" and he even told Rockwell not to pick her. I think if Rockwell had turned out to be a hunk with 100 mil in the bank, she wouldn't be expressing her deep regret now.

And if she wants her credibility back, she should give back all the money she won.

-- Anonymous, April 06, 2000

I'm with you, Mo'. It's not like she was forced to go on the show. And I think, if she really wants her credibility and privacy back, she should stop doing interviews all over the damn place, already! And now she's pondering posing for Playboy -- yeah, that will do wonders for the credibility and privacy...

-- Anonymous, April 06, 2000

I should preface this by saying that I went to absurd lengths NOT to see the show. We had it on at the office, and I had my headphones plugged into my computer speakers and was blaring the loudest music I could find. In other words, all I know about the show is secondhand.

But it's not like that's ever stopped me from commenting before, so...

What the hell was Darva Conger thinking? She didn't want to be there? She didn't want to get married? Hello? Earth to Darva? The show's called 'Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire,' not 'Who Wants a Free Trip to Vegas and Lovely Parting Gifts.' You went on the show voluntarily. You made a lovely speech from what I heard, trying to convince the unknown bachelor to choose you. What did you think was going to happen? Did you really think Tom Cruise or Steve Jobs was on the other side of the divider?

I feel no sorrow for her, because I think that in a year nobody will remember anything about her. If she really wants to resume her private life, she'll have that opportunity. But she's in a situation now that she voluntarily created. Deal with the consequences.

(Jeez, that's a lot harsher than I intended. Maybe I should make some more coffee before I post again.)

-- Anonymous, April 06, 2000

I felt sorry for Darva Conger, right up until I saw her interview on (I think) "Good Morning America." Did she have to be so freakin' mean? "This person is no one I'd ever be attracted to" and "I couldn't believe he'd kiss me like that!", all but saying that Rick Rockwell was a total loser. (I'm not saying he isn't, but he's no more a loser than she is)

She could have handled it with a Hell of a lot more grace than she did.

What a bitch.

-- Anonymous, April 06, 2000

No pity. Not an ounce. I haven't even seen the woman except in a few photos in early web articles, but I have no sympathy, and I don't care what she does with the rest of her life. Moron.

-- Anonymous, April 06, 2000

Memo to Darva: You will never get your credibility back. Never.

Memo to Rick: See above memo to Darva. It applies to you, too.

Memo to "news" sources who keep going on and on about this travesty: Darva and Rick's 15 minutes are up. Stop it. Now.

-- Anonymous, April 06, 2000

I can see how this could have started out as a joke and then snowballed into something bigger, and it began to feel harder and harder to get out of it. So in a way, I feel sorry for her for getting swept up in the whole thing and (I'm assuming) lied to about the producers of the show.

As far as credibility is concerned, who know? What did she have before this, what does she have to lose? Unless she's running for public office, nobody has a reason to care. People who knew her before probably either are thinking "yeah, I always knew she was an idiot" or "That Darla, anything for a laugh" or "She was used by those TV people" or whatever. It's not gonna keep her from ever getting another job or boyfriend or whatever.

I didn't watch the show and am not particularly interested in the whole thing. I agree, the participants are no longer news and their 15 minutes are definitely up. But it's certainly easy to ignore.

-- Anonymous, April 06, 2000

Personally I'm not sure whether the whole "marrying a multimillionaire" business and all the people involvedright down to the unsuccessful applicantsare utterly contemptible or merely pathetic. On balance, though, I think it tends more to the former.

-- Anonymous, April 07, 2000

The thing is, they were so "right" for each other.

-- Anonymous, April 07, 2000

Jeez, humans-- why are you so mean about this? I see no problem with this... Marry a millionaire? Sure! What's the big deal? Every girl human here who disparged poor Darva should ask herself if she ever considered the idea that a mate had to be a Good Provider or wanted to marry a guy with enough money for her to have a good life. I don't take marriage very seriously to begin with, and this was a silly show (it could have been sexy-funny), but, c'mon-- what's the big deal? She could at least have gone off with him for a weekend; she might well have had a good time. Why is everyone *surprised* that someone would want to marry for money?

-- Anonymous, April 11, 2000

I heard (uncomfirmed at this point) that Darva is, indeed, going to do Playboy.

-- Anonymous, April 11, 2000

I'm not surprised at the whole marrying-for-money show. It strikes me as refreshingly honest about the whole thing, instead of lying through your teeth, pulling an Anna Nicole, etc. (Though Rick's supposed "I can find love through the television and maybe I'll find my soulmate- HAHAHAHAHAHHA) However, buying a pig in a poke has _always_ been a bad idea.

-- Anonymous, April 12, 2000

If you marry for money you earn every cent of it.

In my fantasy world, the man I love is also a millionaire. But in reality, I wouldn't marry for money.

-- Anonymous, April 12, 2000

I'm betting marrying for money beats working at the factory...

At least one news source is reporting that Darva will be doing Playboy for $100,000. So let's see; she'll get married for a few million, and she'll take off her clothes for $100,000. It looks like it's only a matter of time before she's working the phone sex lines for $2.99 per minute.

This is a woman who has repeatedly stated in interviews that she "wanted her privacy back."


Poor Rick Rockwell. He got cheated out of meeting his potential soulmate by this fraud. He should sue.

-- Anonymous, April 12, 2000

Oh well, as he keeps repeating, he'll at least finally get to see his ex naked.

-- Anonymous, April 12, 2000

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