By Jonathan Saltzman and Andrew Ryan, Globe Staff
Sandra Boss explained publicly for the first time today how she fell for the fabulist who calls himself Clark Rockefeller, detailing the couple's courtship in poised and engaging testimony in Suffolk Superior Court.
Boss, 42, calmly described meeting her future husband in an apartment on the east side of Manhattan, recalling a costume party in the theme of the board game "Clue." Boss, then a graduate student at Harvard Business School, went as the character Miss Scarlet and wore a red scarf.
"He was 'Professor Plum' and wore maroon colored corduroy trousers," Boss said with a smile, adding, "I thought he was very articulate. He was very well dressed. Very fit. Very intelligent. Very polite. Could talk about anything. Really interesting. Also very charming."
"He was the most intelligent person," Boss said, "I had ever known."
Rockefeller, 48, sat perfectly still at the defendant's table, staring blankly ahead, his eyes cast toward the floor. He did not look at his former wife, and the corners of his mouth curled downward in a slight frown.
Referring to her former husband as "the defendant," Boss offered calm and often meticulous answers to almost two hours of questions from Assistant Suffolk District Attorney David Deakin. Boss gave the jury a taste of the fabulous tales her former husband told about his privileged upbringing and how after their marriage on Nantucket he became hyper controlling and quick to anger.
"It became a very stressful relationship from my point of view," Boss said, adding, "The defendant, particularly in the early years, was unhappy with the limited amount I earned at my job and put a lot of pressure on me about it," Boss said. "I observed he could get a job and contribute."
Rockefeller had always told Boss that he worked charitably as financial adviser to small nations, helping the governments to restructure their crushing debt. Rockefeller told her that he lobbied banks on behalf of the countries and expected "big things" soon in the form of a government appointment with a steady income.
Rockefeller is accused of abducting his daughter during a supervised visit on July 27 following a bitter divorce. He has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Prosecutors say that the defendant is a Bavarian-born con man named Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter who has used a slew of aliases and upper crust identities over the past 30 years to ingratiate himself into tony circles in the United States.
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