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Ex-Wife Testifies Gerhartsreiter, aka "Clark Rockefeller", Wasn't Delusional, Just a Jerk?

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By Javier Lavagnino, Esq. on June 02, 2009 3:08 PM

The things that come out of trials ... The ongoing headline-grabbing kidnapping trial of Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, certainly better known as "Clark Rockefeller", grabbed a few more today with testimony from his ex-wife, 42-year-old Sandra Lynn Boss, which at times might have bordered on the absurd. In turn this probably leads some to wonder why this stuff was even being brought up, but first the good stuff...

CNN reported that Sandra Boss, who clearly put the proverbial food on the table in the relationship with her $1 million salary (despite his storied name, "Rockefeller" didn't seem to ever make any money), saw a few things about Gerhartsreiter that might have raised eyebrows for others, but not her. Defense attorney Jeffrey Denner grilled her at length on her ... oversights:

"Denner asked how a successful businesswoman who was educated at Stanford and Harvard universities could fall for an impostor who called himself Clark Rockefeller.

"'There's a big difference between intellectual intelligence and emotional intelligence,' Boss explained. 'I'm not saying I made a very good choice of a husband. It's obvious I had a pretty big blind spot.'"

...

"She was questioned at length about one particularly bizarre story he told. He said a fall down some stairs left him mute as a child -- until he saw a dog and spontaneously uttered 'woofness' at age 10. She did acknowledge on the stand that she considered 'woofness' to be a 'stupid word.'"

OK, hold on now, "woofness"? Why is anyone even talking about these seemingly inane, irrelevant things which would mainly appear to be needling the Ivy-league educated Boss?

Well, the defense is arguing Clark was delusional or mentally ill. As a result, the prosecution needs to establish that, despite his apparent oddities and the "illusion" of grandeur, Gerhartsreiter actually could form the necessary state of mind to commit the crimes at issue in this case. It is alleged that during an agreed-upon custodial visit, he allegedly abducted his daughter, Reigh. And yes, taking your own daughter, even during lawful visitation time, can end up being a kidnapping offense under state laws and may also violate federal law.

Despite the grilling, CNN noted Boss never went so far as to call Rockefeller delusional, instead she said he just wasn't a nice guy, "The defendant was often very unpleasant -- lack of empathy, anger, control issues, absolutely. I'm not a psychologist, but he was hard to live with". The defense did manage to get her to say she "saw behavior that made me think that he wasn't at all well", though.

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