Clark Rockefeller Claims Not to Recall His Past

08/25/2008 AT 10:05 AM EDT



The bizarre case of the man who calls himself Clark Rockefeller took yet another twist Monday with a jailhouse interview in which he declared he may be the man that the FBI identified as Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter – but he is uncertain about his past.

With his lawyer at his side, Rockefeller/Gerhartsreiter, 48, also told NBC News's Natalie Morales – for the Today show (the second part of the Q&A will air Tuesday) that he doesn't know why he can't remember his past, he just can't.

His attorney, Stephen Hrones, tells Morales that when it comes to Gerhartsreiter, his client is "not denying he might be this person. He just doesn't remember. He's got a block there."

Where Gerhartsreiter is clear is in his reason for kidnapping his own 7-year-old daughter, Reigh. He says it was because he wanted to set up a simple new existence in Baltimore after having experienced the high-life in Manhattan and Boston with his former wife.

Sought a New Life

"I wanted to change my life altogether … I just wanted to live an obscure life," he says. "I could no longer really afford to live in Boston. I always loved Baltimore. I wanted to have a boat so I can sail."

Currently being held without bail in Boston, Gerhartsreiter faces a pre-trial hearing Sept. 3. So far he has not entered a plea to charges of parental kidnapping and assault related to his allegedly shoving the babysitter who was minding Reigh at the time of the child's reputed abduction.

Asked if his former wife believed he was related to legendary American oil man John D. Rockefeller (Clark Rockefeller apparently is not), Gerhartsreiter responds, "She usually did so in an understated way – calling special attention to it by keeping it extra quiet."

As for his claims that he worked for the Pentagon and NASA, Gerhartsreiter answers, "I've worked for persons who worked directly with all the other organizations we have just mentioned."

California police believe Gerhartsreiter also once went by the alias "Christopher Chichester" – who was a budding actor who became a person of interest in the case of a missing San Marino couple from whom he rented a guesthouse in the mid-1980s.

Gerhartsreiter tells Morales his career as a actor went nowhere.

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