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Man in Liz Taylor Hoax Allegedly Poses as Mia Farrow’s Personal Shopper

January 26, 1993

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) _ A man who gained notoriety as Elizabeth Taylor’s supposed lover in a 1990 media hoax was charged Monday with trying to steal $10,050 in goods by posing as Mia Farrow’s personal shopper.

″We have lots of big-time scams in Beverly Hills, but this is the first time I’ve heard of this being used,″ said William Clark, a Los Angeles County deputy district attorney.

Julian Lee Hobbs, 26, also known as Rory Emerald, pleaded innocent Monday to felony grand theft and burglary charges related to the Rodeo Drive shopping spree. He was jailed on $15,000 bail. A preliminary hearing was set for Feb. 4 on those charges plus one count of passing 12 bad checks in 1991, Clark said.

Hobbs faces up to eight years in prison if convicted of all counts, Clark said.

His lawyer, Susan Aaronson, wouldn’t comment.

Hobbs gained publicity in June 1990 when news organizations fell prey to an elaborate hoax in which con artists gained access to an answering service used by Miss Taylor’s publicist, Chen Sam.

A woman who identified herself as an associate of Sam’s said Miss Taylor - hospitalized in Santa Monica at the time - had decided to make public her romance with Hobbs. The hoax was disclosed the next day.

The latest hoax began Saturday morning when a woman called the Polo Ralph Lauren boutique on Rodeo Drive and said she was an assistant of Hobbs, and that Hobbs was Miss Farrow’s personal shopper, according to a store official who spoke on condition of anonyity.

Store clerks were told Hobbs didn’t have a credit card but wanted to take items out of the store, later returning items Miss Farrow didn’t want and paying cash for those she decided to keep, the store official said.

″The store called Mia, and Mia said she didn’t know who this person was,″ Clark said.

He said Hobbs showed up around 6 p.m. and selected socks, velvet pants, an address book, powder, shaving gel, lipstick, a handbag, a backpack, footwear, an $850 suede shirt and other items totaling $10,050.

Police arrested Hobbs as he left the store.

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