Image: Sandra Boss, ex-wife of Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter
Lisa Poole  /  AP
Sandra Boss, ex-wife of Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, who calls himself Clark Rockefeller, on the stand during Gerhartsreiter's kidnapping trial in Boston on Monday.
updated 6/1/2009 5:46:34 PM ET 2009-06-01T21:46:34

The ex-wife of an accused German con artist and kidnapper who calls himself Clark Rockefeller testified Monday that he wooed her with his sharp intellect and charisma but became controlling shortly after they got married.

Sandra Boss said she had no reason to doubt her ex-husband's accounts of his past, including his claims that he attended Yale at age 14 and that he worked renegotiating the debt of small countries.

Prosecutors say Rockefeller is really Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, a German-born man and that he has used numerous aliases since moving to the United States in 1978.

Gerhartsreiter is charged with taking the couple's 7-year-old daughter during a supervised visit in Boston last July after losing custody of the girl to Boss. Father and daughter were later found in Baltimore, and the girl was unharmed.

Boss said that she met the man she knew as Clark Rockefeller in New York in 1993 through her sister, first seeing him at a board game-themed party he held.

He was "very intelligent, very polite, could talk about anything," she said. "I mean, really interesting ... also, really very charming."

They started dating when she was in Boston attending Harvard Business School and he was living in New York. He proposed in the spring of 1994, and they got married in a small ceremony on Nantucket in October 1995.

'Stressful' relationship
She said she saw an angrier side of him after they were married in 1995, as he became more controlling and critical of her friends. Eventually it became a "stressful" relationship, she said.

Boss did not look at her ex-husband except when she was asked to identify him by the prosecutors. She repeatedly referred to him as "the defendant."

Earlier Monday, a livery cab driver who acted as the getaway driver when Rockefeller snatched his daughter said he was an unwitting accomplice.

Darryl Hopkins said Gerhartsreiter offered him $3,000 to help him "get rid of" a friend. The "friend" was a social worker overseeing a supervised visit between Gerhartsreiter and his daughter.

Hopkins admitted he followed Gerhartsreiter's instructions to drive away, even though the social worker was holding onto the car door. The social worker fell and suffered bruises and a mild concussion.

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