Richard Rawlings is all about the cars he works on. Described by his friends as geeky during his formative years, Rawlings already had a passion for cars and was able to detail them like a pro way before he had his TV show. With the launch of his TV show on Discovery Channel, Rawlings’ prowess as an automobile-flipping genius has been aired on television for sixteen seasons. But while his career path and passion have intersected and made him big bucks, Rawlings has had a love life with a couple of bumps along the way. Nevertheless, that hasn’t stopped the gearhead from looking for love, he even married the same woman twice.
What We Know About His First Marriage
Richard Rawlings has had a one of a kind love life. The Fast n’ Loud entrepreneur has been married not once, not twice, but three times. When he was 27 years old, Rawlings shared nuptials with his bride for the first time; his bride being Karen K. Grames. Details about the relationship are rather scarce, as this happened in 1993; at a time before Richard became quite famous for his automotive flipping skills. The relationship didn’t last the test of time, and by the following year, Rawlings and Grames were divorced. After the divorce, several rumors began to circulate as to why the relationship was so short-lived. Rawlings stayed mum on the subject though, choosing to neither confirm nor deny the swirling rumors.
During his relationship and even after the divorce, Rawlings took up several odd jobs so he could fund his car collection. Rawlings had worked as a policeman, a firefighter, and a paramedic at different times before he finally got his own business. It was around this time that Richard figured he’d go back into the dating pool and try his hand at love again. This time, he struck gold when he met Suzanne. Rawlings and Suzanne Marie Mergele met sometime in 1996 and were together in a relationship until they decided to get married in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 1999. The same year, Richard Rawlings had saved up enough money to start his own business; a printing and advertising company called Lincoln Press, located at Carrollton, Texas.
Richard’s marriage to Suzanne started pretty strong. The couple was together as husband and wife when Rawlings eventually started his Dallas-based automobiles shop, Gas Monkey Garage, in 2002. By 2004, he had sold Lincoln Press and invested the money into Gas Monkey Garage. Rawlings and Suzanne stayed together as a married couple for ten years, before they got a divorce in 2009. As the businessman put it, things had begun to get very busy for him as he found himself traveling a lot and spending less time with his wife. This caused strains in the marriage, leading to Suzanne filing for a divorce.
How Richard Rawlings and Suzanne Mergele Got Back Together
The years went by and the reality TV star put his focus on his career. In June 2012, he became the main star of Discovery Channel’s Fast N’ Loud, a reality TV show following Richard and his Gas Monkey Garage crew as they restore run-down cars and flip them for profit. As things continued to progress, Richard Rawlings also founded the Gas Monkey Bar N’ Grill, a restaurant and live music bar. Despite being officially divorced, Rawlings and Suzanne still maintained a friendly relationship, partly because she was managing one of the restaurant’s branches in Dallas.
With the two of them having to work together, it’s not so hard imagining that their friendship could become a budding relationship yet again. Which is exactly what happened. After close to six years of separation, Richard Rawlings and Suzanne got married again in 2015 in Cabo, Mexico. It seemed like all was right again until fans were hit by quite the shocker four years later. In March 2019, Rawlings took to Twitter to announce that he and Suzanne were getting yet another divorce. They had no kids throughout their marriage.
TMZ beat me to the punch as you’ve probably seen. Unfortunately, Suzanne and I have mutually decided that we will be separating and getting a divorce. We’ll always be friends and be there for each other. We had a helluva ride for 20+ years
— Richard Ray Rawlings (@RRRawlings) March 11, 2019
Though she’s well associated with Richard Rawlings, Suzanne Mergele has made a career and life of her own, though there are parts about her life shrouded in mystery. Before she was married to Rawlings, she was married to Carlos Venegas, with whom she had a son named Sinjin Venegas. Details on how she met Carlos or why the marriage ended up in a divorce are not known, and just like Rawlings, she has been married more than twice.
A graduate of the University of Illinois, Suzanne joined the Department of Defense to work as an IT specialist for four years. She then went on to work for a consulting firm in Schaumburg before she left the firm and opened a home health agency located in Dallas in 2004. After her second divorce with Rawlings, Suzanne deleted all her social media accounts, choosing to step away from the spotlight and live a life of privacy.
The Relationship Status of The Fast N’ Loud Star
By the middle of May 2019, divorce proceedings between Richard Rawlings and Suzanne were finalized, and the entrepreneur was officially back in the market as a single man. This status didn’t stay on for long as just weeks after his divorce, he was spotted in West Hollywood with two beautiful women; friend and fellow car-freak Courtney Hansen and Katerina Deason. The latter turned out to be his girlfriend and the person Rawlings lovingly describes as ‘the one.’
It wouldn’t take too long for the two of them to get very much enamored with each other, and by August 2019 the two went on a weekend trip with Rawlings’ sister Daphne to Quintana Roo, Mexico. There, on August 17, Rawlings proposed to Katherine. The couple announced the proposal on their individual Instagram accounts, which was met with mixed reactions from fans. One of the reasons for this was because, though separated, Katerina was still legally married to billionaire Darwin Deason when Rawlings proposed to her. Several fans have called her out as a gold digger but considering she’s coming from a marriage with a billionaire, that doesn’t seem likely.
How Richard Rawlings Spends His Money Since Becoming a Millionaire
Over the length of his career, Richard Rawlings has been able to grow his net worth into an impressive figure of $20 million, with reports indicating he earns about $50k per episode of Fast N’ Loud. The majority of his net worth is thanks to the Discovery Channel reality show, though his restaurant chain, live music venue, and his book have contributed to it. With that amount of wealth, you can bet that Rawlings has splurged on a few things.
In 2015, he purchased a four thousand square feet Dallas mansion for $1.7 million. The mansion comes with four bedrooms, a bar, and a pond. He also has an extensive car collection, one of which is a 1968 Ford Shelby Mustang GT 350, valued at $120k. He also has a $675k 1992 Ferrari F40, a 1952 Chevrolet Fleetline valued at $50k, a $224k 1938 Aston Martin, and several other cars. His passion for cars goes way back to his teenage years when he bought his first car, a Mercury Comet 1974. Rawlings also spends a lot of money on the rundown cars he buys for Gas Monkey Garage to work on and fix, though not all the cars the crew fixes end up bringing in a profit.
Richard Rawlings spent a bit of cash for his second divorce with Suzanne. Besides his ex-wife getting a 2019 Mercedes SL 450 Roadster, Rawlings also had to pay $300k; which he mentioned he would do in two payments. Rawlings was able to keep the rest of his collection intact.