- The Washington Times - Friday, March 24, 2000

What do you do for an encore when you've made headlines worldwide, have been dragged through the tabloids and appeared on national TV?

You go on tour.

Rick Rockwell, the multimillionaire who was a bridegroom in name only, is taking his "National Annulment Tour" to the Funny Bone Comedy Club in Evansville, Ind., for two shows April 12.

"The amount of misinformation about me that's out there is mind-boggling," Mr. Rockwell said. "If I had known I was such a bad person, I would have stopped hanging around with me a long time ago."

"Misinformation" includes his age. "I'm 43. Everyone says I'm 42. If they can't even get that most basic info right, there's not much chance the rest of it will be correct."

Mr. Rockwell was a stand-up comedian for years before investing his money and striking it rich in real estate. He never was as well known nationally as a comic as he was for his one-time appearance on Fox TV's "Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire?"

He's been the butt of numerous jokes in newspapers and magazines, on radio, TV and the Internet after choosing and then losing Darva Conger to be Mrs. Multimillionaire.

"She's never given me a good reason why she was on the show in the first place," he said. "I think she chose to vilify me to somehow justify being on the show."

Mr. Rockwell said the gossip began when they were on their "honeymoon."

"Tabloid reporters were digging for everything they could find," he said, "but we were gone and couldn't speak for ourselves."

Mr. Rockwell said he didn't do the show for publicity. But what about this latest comedy tour?

"Yes, but it's not like I'm doing something new because of the experience," he said. "I've been a stand-up comedian and speaker for 20 years.

"One of the best things that's happened is it's brought out the best and the worst in everyone, including people I thought were friends. The degree of jealousy among other [comedians] is amazing. But mostly, this whole thing has been unbelievably surreal."

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