Former playmate believes husband innocent of fraud
Accused con artist not what he seems to be, sister says
Jeff Vinnick, National Post
Pia Reyes, wife of Christopher Rocancourt,
waits outside court in Vancouver.
VANCOUVER - Pia Reyes, a former Playboy playmate
facing fraud charges with her common-law husband,
Christopher Rocancourt, has complete faith in him
despite police allegations he is a master of deception,
a family member says.
Despite a daunting array of charges facing Mr.
Rocancourt in Vancouver, Victoria, Los Angeles and New
York, she believes in his innocence and that everything
will be OK, Mercedes Reyes, Pia's sister, said in an
"She says there's nothing to worry about. I
think she's deluded herself into thinking he's
fine," she said from her home in New York.
"She says when she's completed [with the courts]
she will leave Vancouver and come back to the U.S. Then
she hopes Christopher will be freed and he'll follow her
But Mercedes Reyes, who has been reading about Mr.
Rocancourt's secret life in the New York Times and
Vanity Fair, said she doesn't share her sister's blind
"He's not good," she said. "I don't
think my sister should have anything to do with him. She
should just get out of the situation."
Mr. Rocancourt, who is in custody, and his wife, who
is out on bail, appeared in provincial court yesterday
on charges of fraud over $5,000. The matter was put over
until June 15, when a trial date will be set.
Mercedes Reyes described Mr. Rocancourt as charming
and bright, but said she's now convinced he was never
what he seemed to be. "He portrayed himself as a
wealthy investor who did not have to work," she
said of her meetings with him. "He was supposed to
be someone who links investors to the producers of
Police in Los Angeles and in the Hamptons, a retreat
for the wealthy just outside New York City, allege Mr.
Rocancourt was a con man who used different guises to
In L.A., police say he posed as a European boxing
champion, hung out with movie stars, drove Dodi Fayed's
old Hummer, and told people he was Christopher De
Laurentiis, nephew of the filmmaker Dino De Laurentiis.
In the Hamptons, he passed himself off as Christopher
Rockefeller, explaining away his accent by saying he was
the French-raised heir to the Rockefeller fortune.
People became suspicious because he drove a Mazda and
at a dinner party praised a cheap California wine as a
Police in L.A. and New York, where he is wanted for
skipping out on a $45,000 bail bond, say he typically
masqueraded as a wealthy venture capitalist trying to
put business deals together. Once he got the money from
investors, he'd leave town.
In Vancouver, police allege he defrauded a
businessman of nearly $200,000 by pretending he was a
race car driver who had $5-million to invest.
Mr. Rocancourt also faces charges of sexual assault
and assault causing bodily harm, stemming from an
incident police say involved a young woman in Victoria.
That matter is expected to go to trial in July.
Sue Wishart, Mr. Rocancourt's lawyer, said the fraud
trial likely won't take place until December.
"He's doing very well. He's in good spirits.
He's looking forward to having his day in court,"
Ms. Wishart said Mr. Rocancourt is aware of the
intense media interest in his case but isn't concerned
about it. "He expected it. He hopes he will be
Pia Reyes, who chatted with friends outside the
courtroom yesterday, declined comment, other than to say
she was fine.