MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Fallen auto mogul Denny Hecker found out last week that he’s going to spend at least the next seven years in prison. In a call from jail Thursday, however, he told WCCO-TV in an exclusive interview that what he’s really worried about is his girlfriend’s future.
Christi Rowan will be sentenced next week for lying on a car lease application and bankruptcy fraud.
“She is probably the greatest woman I have ever met in my life,” he said. “All I can do is hope and pray that she gets probation.”
Hecker blames himself for the trouble she’s facing.
“She has become my love of my life and she has been very supportive, and frankly there are not a lot of people who have been supportive of me,” he said.
Rowan told WCCO-TV last November that Hecker is her “soul mate” and that they “have a synergy that is beyond words.”
One of the more startling twists in the Hecker saga was the allegation that Hecker and Rowan tried to pull off a wedding while he was meeting with his legal team in the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
When asked if they were going to get married, Hecker replied with, “everything going on right now, if we were, I couldn’t tell you. I wouldn’t want anything to screw up her sentencing.”
Hecker says he and Rowan are writing a book together that he is convinced will be a bestseller.
“The book will be about things in life and, quite frankly, how you go from riches to bankruptcy to jail,” he said.
He said life in jail has an upside: he has lost 25 pounds.
“I am really on a big workout program. I am eating very healthy and I have basically become a vegetarian since I have been here,” he said.
He says he regrets forging a document to get millions in financing. He says he is paying the price for that now.
He said gets angry when he is compared to Tom Petters.
“Mine wasn’t a Ponzi scheme,” he said. “I lost a $100 million of my own money.”
According to Hecker, other family members have been devastated by his reversal of fortune. His older sister, Beverly Hecker, collapsed after talking to reporters last week after his sentencing and is still in intensive care.
From jail, Hecker says his greatest fear now is that his Rowan will be sent to jail when she is sentenced. She could face up to six months in prison.
WCCO’s Esme Murphy Interviews Denny Hecker