For those who read about Elizabeth Taylor's latest romantic involvement and said, "Say it isn't so, Liz": It isn't so.

A story reported nationwide yesterday that said the actress had had minor surgery over the weekend and was pining for the 23-year-old man with whom she was romantically involved turned out to be an elaborate hoax.

The star's spokeswoman, Chen Sam, said yesterday: "This isn't true. I have contacted Miss Taylor's attorneys and we are going to conduct an investigation."

An Associated Press reporter in Los Angeles had placed calls to the hospital and Taylor's publicist after receiving a message Sunday from an affiliate in England whose editors had heard Taylor had undergone another operation. The reporter called Chen Sam and Associates in New York City, Taylor's public relations firm, and left a message with the agency's answering service. A short time later a woman called, saying she was Lisa Flowers from Chen Sam and Associates. The woman then released the bogus information. To verify the authenticity of the source the reporter later placed a second call to Sam's answering service and left a message for Lisa Flowers. The message for her was accepted without question by the answering service operator.

The hoaxer also provided the information to United Press International. "We're still trying to unthread it now," said Bob Martin, UPI bureau chief in Los Angeles. "We had trouble getting hold of Chen Sam and now it turns out we didn't get hold of her after all."

Sam said today that Taylor was still recuperating at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, Calif., from pneumonia and complications. She said the actress did not have surgery over the weekend. "I was out there last week," Sam said. "She's looking wonderful and doing much better." She added that Taylor had never heard of her alleged romantic liaison, Julian Lee Hobbs.

Christian Brando Back in Court

A brief court hearing for Christian Brando, charged with the murder of his half-sister's 26-year-old boyfriend, was held yesterday in Los Angeles. The judge will decide on June 25 when a preliminary hearing will be held.

The son of actor Marlon Brando sat handcuffed and in white prison overalls and did not speak. His lawyer, Robert Shapiro, told reporters outside the court that the shooting was "a horrible human event ... for both families. Both Dag {Drollet}'s father and Christian's father are soon to be the grandfathers of the same child," he said.

Detectives said the younger Brando told them the shooting occurred during a fierce quarrel after he had confronted Drollet about slapping Cheyenne Brando. But Jacques Drollet, the father of the victim, speaking to reporters outside a Los Angeles courtroom, said that Marlon Brando had told him Cheyenne was lying when she said Dag Drollet had hit her.

"Marlon Brando talked to me on the telephone the day after the shooting. He said his daughter Cheyenne had been lying about Dag slapping her around. He said it was totally untrue," Drollet said.

According to police reports, Marlon Brando told detectives his daughter had made a number of unfounded allegations against family members. He said Cheyenne was suffering "psychological problems" and was undergoing psychiatric treatment. Brando, who attended the first hearing for his son, in which he was denied bail, was not present at yesterday's hearing and could not be reached for comment.

E. Germany's Gift to Holocaust Museum

East German Prime Minister Lothar de Maiziere will present the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum with the original keystone from the main arch of Berlin's Oranienberger Synagogue, the largest synagogue in the world at the time of its construction in 1866. Damaged during Kristallnacht in 1938 and destroyed by firebombing in 1943, the synagogue is now being rebuilt.

De Maiziere, on a two-day state visit to Washington, will be briefed on the status of the museum and will view models of the museum's permanent exhibition.

Diver to Explore the Monitor

Civil War buffs may soon have clearer pictures of the Union ship Monitor, which sank in a gale off the North Carolina coast 128 years ago after its celebrated battle with the Confederate ship Merrimack.

For the first time in 11 years, the government is allowing an undersea photographer to dive to the wreck 16 miles off Cape Hatteras, N.C. Photographer and author Rod Farb, of Cedar Grove, N.C., arrived at the site with a film crew last week, beating out a Philadelphia rival seeking to become the first diver to explore the wreck since Jacques Cousteau in 1979. Cousteau's expedition was hampered by bad weather and poor visibility, and little or no usable footage was produced.