Trying to heal. Shanna Moakler is understandably still dealing with the aftermath of the domestic violence arrest of her on-and-off boyfriend Matthew Rondeau.
“It’s very difficult because it’s, like, I just lost the man that I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with and my best friend,” the former beauty queen, 46, exclusively tells Us Weekly, noting that they had been seriously talking about marriage. “I had a plan for my life. … Now I don’t know where I’m at in my world, so I’m trying to get the help that I need to get myself back on track and in a good headspace so I can move forward.”
Rondeau, 29, whom the Rhode Island native had been dating on and off since 2020, was arrested on Thursday, February 24, for felony domestic violence after an altercation in which, according to the police report obtained by Us, he grabbed her by her hair, threw a chair at her and urinated on her, leaving visible injuries. He spent six hours in jail.
“Today was one of the most heartbreaking days of my life,” Rondeau wrote after his release. “To my family and friends, I just want you to know I love you so so much. You know I’d never lay a hand on another woman. My mother is my angel and my best friend. She raised me right.”
Moakler obtained an emergency protective order against her former partner, which she tells Us she plans on extending. She also confirms that she has not spoken to Rondeau since the incident.
The morning of his arrest, Rondeau had taken Moakler’s phone and streamed live from her Instagram account, yelling obscenities in an alarming rant about how she was allegedly unfaithful to him, among other things.
“I definitely was not having an affair with my neighbor,” Moakler tells Us. “I think those were things that were being said in a heated emotional state. He was obviously confused. He was obviously upset. He obviously was acting like a crazy person but … I think he deals with highs and lows and he was just having a low and that doesn’t make his behavior acceptable, and I hope he can see that because this isn’t someone I can just turn my feelings off. I was just engaged to this man a week ago. I do understand I need to take care of myself, and I need to go get the help that I need to work through this because I never experienced anything like that myself.”
She adds that she’s “highly concerned” by the death threats his family has received: “He’s not a monster. He’s a good person who’s going through a difficult time, and I’m not condoning the video or any actions, but I think attacking someone’s family with small children is not the way to heal this, or even to bring awareness to these types of situations. I do hope that we are able to both get the support we both need to get healthy. And I don’t even mean together, I’m just saying as individuals.”
The night prior to the domestic violence dispute, the couple were “fine,” according to Moakler, while attending a Celebrity Big Brother afterparty. In fact, he had told her in their hotel room, “Let’s do this. Let’s get married.” But things later escalated. She explains, “I get why people are feeling the way they’re feeling, and I understand why that may have triggered people, but I don’t think these are just black and white sort of situations.”
Rondeau, a model, has since been dropped by his talent agents. “Thank you everyone who called and harassed all my wonderful Agents everyday to the point that they had to let me go. I hope you feel really good about yourself when you ALL find out I’m NOT guilty and f–king pray that Karma doesn’t crawl right up your ass. Lol,” he wrote via Instagram Story on Tuesday, March 1, after returning home from a weekend in Las Vegas.
“It’s difficult because I was just getting engaged to this man,” Moakler tells Us, adding, “His family is people that I absolutely love and respect. They’re wonderful people. They have small children. I’m asking to please stop harassing this family. The only parties that need to take responsibility are Matthew and I, and that’s what I’m hoping he’s doing, and that’s definitely what I’m going to be doing.”
She concludes, “I know the video that he posted has triggered a lot of emotion for a lot of people, and understandably, but I think when someone’s at a low – and I think Matthew is somebody that has highs and lows – and needs to get help for that, I don’t think abusing them as well and destroying them is the medicine he needs at this moment.”
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 for confidential support.
With reporting by Diana Cooper