LOS ANGELES — The woman who married a notorious Rockefeller impostor and bore his child told jurors in his murder trial Tuesday how she was charmed by the bright, quirky man during their 12-year-marriage.
Sandra Boss, 45, said she believed everything the man, who called himself Clark Rockefeller, told her about himself.
Testifying in court, Boss said the couple met in 1993 when she was studying for her MBA at Harvard University and was invited to a cocktail party at his New York apartment. The theme was the game Clue, and they came in costume.
‘‘I was Miss Scarlett, and he was Professor Plum,’’ she recalled. ‘‘I liked him. I thought he was intelligent, very funny, quirky, flattering, and complimentary.’’
They began dating and by 1994 she had graduated, had a finance job in New York, and moved in with him. He told her he was an heir to the Rockefeller fortune but was on the outs with the rest of his relatives and never saw them.
‘‘I assumed that what he was telling me was true,’’ she said. ‘‘I didn’t have reason to think he was not the person he said he was.’’
When Rockefeller, who is really German con man Christian Gerhartsreiter, proposed marriage in June 1994, she accepted, and they married the next year.
But once they married, she said his charming demeanor dissipated, and he became demanding of secrecy in all their affairs. He handled finances, but she provided the funds and signed blank checks for him to use. She said he put charges on her credit cards and had none in his own name. He installed multiple phone lines and had their mail delivered to post office boxes. They moved frequently.
He also had an aversion to certain places. He refused to visit California which he said he hated and would never set foot in Connecticut. Unknown to her, he was under investigation in both places in connection with a missing persons case.
Gerhartsreiter is charged with the 1985 murder of John Sohus who disappeared from his San Marino, Calif., home with his wife, Linda. The man’s bones were unearthed a decade later. Linda Sohus has never been found.
Gerhartsreiter made headlines after his masquerade as “Clark Rockefeller” in Boston began to unravel in 2008, when he was arrested for abducting his 7-year-old daughter.