FARM GIRL MARRIES HER WAY INTO MILLION$

Published on: December 4, 2000

IF DARVA CONGER still wants to marry a multimillionaire, she could get some pointers from Darcy LaPier -- who went from rags to riches by marrying a string of wealthy husbands.

The sexy beauty wed Hawaiian Tropic founder Ron Rice -- without divorcing her first husband -- then moved on to action hero Jean-Claude Van Damme, and recently became the widow of Herbalife billionaire Mark Hughes. Now at age 34 she could be worth over $100 million!

"Darcy was a small town Oregon farm girl who dropped out of high school in the ninth grade and never looked back," said a source close to LaPier.

"She married a local man, Larry Ray Robertson, when she was 19. But she wanted far bigger things. When she saw a poster for a Hawaiian Tropic model contest, she entered and won.

"Company founder Ron Rice asked her for a date. She failed to tell him she was married and within days they became inseparable."

Darcy and Rice married in 1990, after she gave birth to their daughter Sterling.

Rice provided Darcy with a lavish lifestyle of beautiful homes, luxury cars, jewels and world travel.

But by 1992, Darcy itched for more excitement. While attending a celebrity event she met Jean-Claude Van Damme, who was married at the time.

Darcy could not get the actor out of her mind and found out he was filming in Hong Kong, said the source.

She flew there alone and tracked him down, then lured him to her hotel room and said, "Make love to me," Van Damme later told an interviewer. They did -- and within days both wanted our of their marriages.

When Rice heard about Darcy's affair, he initiated divorce proceedings, expecting to lose a good portion of his fortune in the settlement.

But then The ENQUIRER came to his aid with news that LaPier had never divorced Larry Ray Robertson and had committed bigamy. The news changed the divorce action to an annulment. Darcy got only child support, and Rice thanked The ENQUIRER.

On Feb. 3, 1994, Darcy wed Van Damme, beginning a fiery marriage marked by furious fights.

Darcy gave birth to a son, Nicolas, the following year. She was outraged when Van Damme later claimed the child wasn't his. Darcy insisted it was.

She filed for divorce three times in three years, each time changing her mind. But in 1997, she finally left Van Damme for good.

"Darcy got an estimated $10 million plus child support from Van Damme," said the source.

It didn't take Darcy long to land another husband. On a blind date she met Mark Hughes, who had built Herbalife from a garage operation to a $1.8 billion nutrition giant. "They made love in his Rolls-Royce on the first date," said the source.

They were married on Valentine's Day, 1999, and settled into a 32,000-square-foot house in Malibu.

Hughes bought Darcy a $4 million helicopter to carry her to their 150-foot yacht.

Then this past May, Hughes took the prescription drug Doxepin to help him sleep after a party. He had been drinking.

The next morning, Darcy awoke with a cold corpse next to her. Hughes' autopsy showed a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit.

On the day of his funeral, Darcy bought 1.4 million red roses to cover the grounds of their estate.

"When Hughes died Darcy got an estimated $100 million," said the source.

"Darcy is still very attractive and active -- so don't be surprised if Miss LaPier turns up with another high-profile billionaire to add to her portfolio!"


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