June 28, 2000 06:45am
Game Show Bride Takes Off Wedding Gown for Playboy
(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. game show bride who rejected her millionaire husband after their bizarre marriage on national television said on Wednesday she had taken off her wedding dress and bared all for Playboy magazine.
Darva Conger, 34, who lost her job as an emergency room nurse soon after her ill-fated wedding to millionaire Rick Rockwell, told NBC's ``Today'' show she posed nude to help compensate for loss of income after the show.
``What was I expected to do, stay at home and watch as they foreclosed on my house?'' asked Conger, who said immediately after the wedding she regretted appearing on the show and wanted to restore her privacy and end the marriage.
``I made a stupid mistake. It doesn't mean that I am a stupid woman,'' Conger said on Wednesday of her decision to appear on the game show.
Conger looks demure in a white wedding gown on the cover of Playboy but bares all in a series of photos inside, showing more than she revealed to her television husband.
Conger married 42-year-old Rockwell in front of 22 million television viewers on ``Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire'', a ratings sensation for the Fox-TV network later canceled because of the controversy that followed.
Soon after the show, a web site revealed allegations of violence in Rockwell's past. Conger was granted an annulment from Rockwell by a Las Vegas judge in April.
Conger conceded she was ``in conflict with God'' over her appearance in Playboy but she believed God would forgive her.
``I believe in a forgiving God, a God who sees in my heart. I will take my chances with Him forgiving me because I think He is more accepting and forgiving than the rest of the public,'' she said.
Appearing on the same program, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner said the fascination with Conger had been ``overwhelming,'' adding that numerous women have turned to his magazine as a way of bringing changes into their lives.
Calling the program that made Conger famous a ``dumb show,'' Hefner refused to reveal how much his magazine had paid her. ''That's a state secret,'' he said. News reports estimate Conger was paid about half a million dollars.
``I'm very happy with the pictures. She's a very beautiful lady,'' said Hefner, adding that he expected Conger to sell a lot of magazines for his corporation. Conger said her elderly mother ``loved the pictures.''