Woman’s Day

April 13, 1998
No reporter listed
pgs 8 and 9



Lucy Lawless could not have been keener to wed her TV boss - and her sexy "secret" bash went without a hitch.

When Kiwi stunner Lucy Lawless, star of Xena Warrior Princess, married her executive producer and lover Rob Tapert in Beverly Hills, she did it in sensational style!

The pair went to amazing lengths to keep the wedding under wraps using false names and special codes plus a platoon of musclebound ex-FBI bodyguards to outwit press photographers. But Woman’s Day can bring you an exclusive look at how the superstar from New Zealand tied the knot.

During meticulous preparations, Lucy used the fake name Sue Binder to get top Hollywood wedding services. "They hired Mindy Weiss, one of the best party organisers in LA," says an insider. "She does top functions for the really big names."

Divorcee Lucy, who turned 30 the day after the wedding, stayed at the luxurious Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel, where the newlyweds later entertained 300 guests at a spectacular nine-hour reception. Lucy hit the floor in a strapless, sexy, gold-braided satin and tulle gown. She and Rob had guests cheering as they rocked to classic hits belted out by a leading Elvis impersonator.

The former nightclub waitress, whose TV role has made her a millionaire, was surrounded by her family - including nine-year-old daughter, Daisy, who was a bridesmaid along with cousins Josie and Aimee. Daisy’s father, Garth Lawless, shared a dirt-poor life in the Aussie outback with Lucy until their split in 1995.

Lucy’s dad, Frank Ryan, was there with mum Julie and several of her six siblings. Hercules hunk Kevin Sorbo made his public debut with new bride and actress Sam Jenkins and Xena co-star Kevin Smith led a horde of the show’s New Zealand cast. Rob’s brother, Jeff, was best man and made sure Rob , survived last-minute jitters.

Guests were banned from taking pictures at the church service or reception, but the couple’s friends were well spoiled, with an ocean of champagne and a banquet menu, topped off with the towering wedding cake. "Everyone had a great time," says one guest. "Lucy and Rob were up till midnight. It was the biggest wedding many of the guests had ever seen, but it still wasn’t enough for Kevin Smith - he complained when the bar closed at 2am."

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