DOCUMENT: Celebrity

Millionaire Groom's Dirty Secret

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Debbie Goyne Petition

Rick Rockwell Restraining Order

Rick Rockwell Promotional Headshot

Rick Rockwell Resume

Nine years before supposed "multimillionaire" Rick Rockwell became famous for marrying a stranger on national television, a California judge issued a restraining order barring him from going near an ex-fiancee who told the court that her "repeated attempts to break off an engagement" led Rockwell to assault her and threaten that "he would find me and kill me," The Smoking Gun has learned.

Debbie Goyne, a Redondo Beach resident, leveled the abuse charges against Rockwell in legal papers filed in early-1991 in Los Angeles Superior Court. The documents were obtained late Friday by The Smoking Gun.

In February 1991, Goyne submitted a court application seeking restraining and stay-away orders against Rockwell, then a Venice, California resident.Included in Goyne's filing was her handwritten statement charging that after she tried to break off the couple's engagement, Rockwell "threw me around and slapped and hit me in the face. Recently, he said he would find me and kill me." Goyne also charged that Rockwell, who then worked as a stand-up comedian, twice entered her home without permission and also vandalized her car.

Goyne's petition to the court also included one rather personal detail of her 18-month relationship with Rockwell. "Many times, during sex, he attempted to become physically and verbally abusive," Goyne stated."His temper is short and he will randomly throw anything in his path." She added, "I also model professionally, and having to rely on my face as a means of income, I feel that he may try to mar my face in some fashion to destroy that means of professional security."

(Click here for a copy of Goyne's 4-page petition seeking the protective orders.)

In the petition, Goyne asked that her three roommates also be covered by the requested protective order. Ron Sturtz, one of those 1991 roommates, confirmed in a TSG interview that the Rick Rockwell named in Goyne's court filings was the same Rick Rockwell featured on the Fox TV show "Who Wants to Marry a Multi-millionaire?" Sturtz added that he recalled going to see Rockwell perform in nightclubs around the time the comic was dating Goyne.

On March 5, 1991 Goyne and Rockwell appeared at a hearing in the Torrance courtroom of Judge Abraham Gorenfeld. Following that session, Judge Gorenfeld signed a six-month protective order barring Rockwell from coming within 100 yards of Goyne, her home, or her downtown L.A. office. In addition, Rockwell was ordered not to "contact, molest, attack, strike, threaten, sexually assault, batter, telephone, or disturb the peace" of Goyne. The Superior Court file contains no evidence that Rockwell failed to follow this judicial directive.

(Click here for a copy of Judge Gorenfeld's 2-page restraining order.)

Goyne did not return messages left by The Smoking Gun at her office. Rockwell, who is reportedly honeymooning in the Caribbean, also could not be reached for comment. "Who Wants to Marry a Multi-millionaire?" culminated with Rockwell, 42, marrying Darva Conger, a 34-year-old Santa Monica nurse. Conger was among 50 contestants vying for the chance to immediately tie the knot with a groom they--and the TV audience--were told was loaded.

But almost immediately after the show aired February 15, news reports questioned whether Rockwell, a comedian/motivational speaker/real estate developer, was really wealthy--or just a publicity hound. Click here for an old Rockwell promotional headshot or click here for his performance bio (both courtesy of there sourceful Amanda Cohen).

While "Multi-millionaire" was blasted by critics and feminists, Fox executives emerged as big winners--albeit temporarily. The program scored such whopping ratings that it was scheduled for rebroadcast on February 22. But on Sunday, February 20--a day after TSG first disclosed the abuse allegations against Rockwell--Sandy Grushow, Fox Television Entertainment's chairman, ordered the rerun canceled.In a statement, Fox noted that the program was shelved because the network "has become aware of information regarding Mr. Rockwell's past. In light of that new information, the network feels that to rebroadcast the special would be inappropriate and consequently we have removed it from our schedule."