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Author Topic: Who Killed Bonny Lee Bakley?  (Read 20505 times)
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« on: July 12, 2012, 05:15:04 PM »

Who Killed Bonny Lee Bakely?


On May 4, 2001 Blake took Bakley to an Italian dinner at Vitello's Restaurant on Tujunga Avenue in Studio City. Afterward, Bakley was killed by a gunshot to the head while sitting in the car, which was parked on a side street around the corner from the restaurant. Blake claimed that he had returned to the restaurant to collect a gun which he had left there, and was not present when the shooting occurred. That gun had not fired the fatal shots.

Edit to fix typo in name.  MB
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 07:19:08 PM by klaasend » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2012, 05:55:25 PM »

The woman on the stretcher was Bonny Lee Bakley, born in June of 1956 to a troubled, lower working-class family. She had come to an end that many thought was ironic, if not inevitable. She had been shot twice at close range as she sat in a car belonging to her reluctant movie-star husband, Robert Blake. And with the news media clamoring to cover the latest Hollywood shocker, her name would finally be known across the country.

Fame was Bonny's first obsession. "I was the kid that everybody hated in school because I was poor and I couldn't dress good... Everybody always made fun of me because I was a real loner type. So you grow up saying 'I'll fix them. I'll show them. I'll be a movie star.' And it was too hard because I was always falling for somebody. And I figured, why not fall for movie stars instead of becoming one?" So said Bonny in a taped conversation that was widely aired on national television in mid-May of 2001, just days after the shooting. (1)

The star-struck Bonny who was, in her words, "always falling for somebody," was incredibly enthusiastic and not particularly discriminating when it came to the pursuit of men. The record is unclear how many husbands she had. There were at least nine that are acknowledged by the family, but there could be as many as 100. (2)

It was not just the number of her "marriages" that is so impressive, but the type of marriages. Bakley was first married at age 15 to a young Greek national by the name of Evangelos Paulakis. Paulakis needed to marry in order to secure the INS "green card" that would permit him to remain in the US, and he offered Bonny money for the favor. Bakley was already living the fast life by that time. She met Paulakis as part of her "modeling" work in Union City, New Jersey. According to younger brother Joseph Bakley, "[Bonny] used to tell me they had all these orgy parties out there and everything when I was still a little kid. Sounded so good, I wanted to go, too." (3)

Within weeks of the marriage, Bakley decided she'd had enough, and somehow managed to get Paulakis deported. Sister Margerry Bakley claims it was because Paulakis beat her. But in any case, it was during those early years that Bakley got into the habit of taping her personal phone calls. Among the tapes seized as evidence after her murder, at least two were labeled "Evangelos." (4)

She married one of her husbands, Joseph Brooksher, in 1992. But the marriage lasted only the night. By morning she had disappeared, Brooksher says. A televised report stated that she had met him through a singles ad six months before they got hitched in Memphis. "Abandoned on his wedding night," said the report, "Brooksher claims he was even sent to prison for four years because Bonny wrote bad checks in his name. And Joe’s sad saga doesn't end there. According to Tennessee court documents obtained exclusively by “Extra,” Brooksher and Bonny may have never officially divorced. She apparently didn't follow through with it." (5).

Another of Bonny's many husbands was E. Robert Telufson, who married Bonny Lee when he was 83 years old. The marriage lasted for six weeks before Bakley disappeared. According to a story broadcast by a Memphis, Tennessee news station, Telufson remarked, "I understand there may have been as many as a hundred marriages." (6)

Her marriage to another Florida man - William Weber, who died in 1999 - lasted but two days. Then, after the second night, says Weber's son, also named William, Bonny and her sister "bolted out a second floor window from his Port Charlotte, Florida condo... All of a sudden the bank calls me up and says he's drawing everything out." But, in fact, it was she who was the one taking the money from the elderly man's bank account. Says the Memphis broadcast, "A Florida judge appointed a guardian for William Weber, Sr. and froze his bank accounts. But by then, $350,000 was gone, and so was Bakley." (7)

One of Bakley's oddest and most interesting marriages was to one DeMart Besly, an old Navy man and retired sheriff in Darby, Montana (1990 population: 625). Besly was retired, four years a widower, and lonely when he first crossed paths with the notorious "Lee Bakley," as she called herself in letters to the now-deceased victim. Besly, shown in an old black-and-white photo (above right) was the subject of a Court TV exclusive aired 12 July 2002 on the network's "Hollywood At Large" series. Program host Wendy Walsh interviewed the man's niece, Dawn Dupré, who described how her elderly uncle began corresponding with several women who advertised in a "swinger" magazine, supposedly-different women with different names and descriptions. All of them, however, later turned out to be Bakley.

Besly was taken in by a woman calling herself "Lee" whom he not yet met personally, and he sent her money to travel to Darby. Besly was actually a bit relieved when he saw that Bonny was less attractive than she advertised, thinking he had a real chance for a relationship with the seedy-looking stranger. This account of their initial meeting, based on the text Besly hiself composed before his death, appears in the book Blood Cold: Fame, Sex, and Murder in Hollywood by Dennis McDougal and Mary Murphy (see photo on right):

When she showed up at the Darby bus station, she was shorter, more shabby and dumpier than her photos had led Besly to believe. At 140 pounds, the five-foot-three-inch Bonny did not match the sexpot image of her crotch shots. Her clothes were strictly Salvation Army and her cardboard luggage was cracked. Her toiletries consisted of towels stolen from the Ramada Inn and tiny bars of soap lifted from motels and hotels across America. Instead of discouraging him, however, the real Bonny gave him hope. Besly was not so naive as to believe that a babe was going to marry him, but a down-on-her-heels bimbo like Bonny just might. (Cool

Bakley was, of course, smart enough to know she had to present an image consistent with the hard-luck stories she sent her thousands of "pen pals." While Bakely undeniably raked in millions from her rip-off schemes and quickie marriages. it is also a fact that she lavished money on people whenever she needed friendship or assistance and splurged on travel and self-promotion. Thus, she had little to show for her luctrative porn business until she began investing in real property some time after she first contacted Besly.

According to Dupré, despite sending nude "tease" pictures to Besly (see Court TV image above), Bakley insisted on her Montana trip that she could never sleep with a man before marriage. So she and Besly took off for Nevada where they were married in a civil ceremony. From there, he took her to a hotel and casino, and at some point she excused herself to go to the ladies room and simply disappeared.

Up to this point, Bakley apparently gained little more than small change from her "marriage" to Besly. But she wasn't done with him yet. Following the wedding, Bakley broke into Besly's home, stealing a variety of things ranging from clothing and personal items belonging to Besly's late wife to "lots of jewelry," in Dupré's words. But most importantly, "he found his gun missing," Dupré (left) told Court TV.

But that wasn't the last of it. When Besly's next property tax bill arrived in the mail, he discovered that the deed listed Bonny's name as well as his own. The ex-sheriff quickly learned that Bakley had forged his signature on a legal document making herself a "co-owner" of the home. The forged document had been notarized by a Memphis used-car salesman whom Bakley later acknowledge that she'd been "shacked-up with at the time." (9)

The retired lawman was not one to take the scam lightly, and he set about investigating her. The results of his work became a manuscript, the first page of which was shown on the Court TV program. Headed, "Ubiquitous Bonny: Mistress of Sham, of Lust, Greed and Deceit by D.C. Besly," it began by referring to a story about her that appeared in 1989 in the supermarket tabloid, Globe. The pictured text continues:

Any male who has ever thumbed through most swinger's and girlie publications has no doubt seen Lee Bakley in all her naked glory, legs spread wide, the finger of one hand spreading the lips of her juicy man-trap... If there's a sleazy magazine she hasn't advertised in, it probably hasn't been published, as by her own admission she has appeared in most of them, sometimes twice with her diverse identities and addresses in order to "double responses from drooling suckers," as she once gigglingly admitted. (10)

In the Court TV interview, Dupré was also asked about Bakley's dramatic death.

Walsh: If your uncle were living today would he be surprised to learn of the violent end of Bonny Lee's life?

Dupré: Not in the least. He predicted it.

Besly's foresight today seems almost uncanny. When he died on Christmas of 2000, he left most of his property to a young Darby, Montana couple who moved in and cared for him in his final months. But niece Dawn Dupré inherited several manuscripts Besly had written. One was the story of his relationship with the soon-to-be-notorious Bonny Lee Bakley. To that one, Besly had attached a prophetic note that promised: "This may be worth something someday." (11)

Dupré told Court TV that her uncle had left boxes of old letters and photographs of Bakley which, she hopes will be made into a book and ultimately help "clear Mister Blake's name." But to program host Walsh, the gun was especially interesting:

If Bonny Bakley was in the habit of stealing guns, she could have stolen one of Blake's and someone else could have taken that gun and killed her. Dawn says, 'add that to Bakley's rather long list of enemies and you get reasonable doubt.'

Perhaps the most durable relationship Bakley had was with one Paul Gawron, who eventually ended up raising the three children Bakley had prior to her run-in with Robert Blake - Glenn Paul Gawron, Holly Lee Gawron, and Jeri Lee Lewis. Bonny married Gawron, her first cousin, in November of 1977. The marriage was one that brought disapproval even from Bakley's family. Gawron and his sister were raised in foster care, never sure whether they had been abandoned because their mother didn't want them or because she was too poor to care for them. According to Bakley's uncle George Hall, Gawron always seemed a bit crazy. "He was abusive with his remarks and physically, too, at times," Hall says. "I guess she thought a lot of him, but he never acted very normal to me. He broke her nose one time. He was insulting in public and used very foul language." (12)

Crime writer Gary C. King, in a book about the life and death of Bakley titled Murder in Hollywood: The Secret Life and Mysterious Death of Bonny Lee Bakley, wrote that she seemed to have "a voracious sexual appetite that bordered on addiction." He adds, "She was kinky, and bragged that she had participated in orgies, sado-masochism, and lesbian acts in order to satisfy her desires. She wrote that she was uninhibited and enjoyed nearly every type of sexual pleasure that could be imagined. She advertised as much, and set up dates with men interested in sampling her repertoire." Even though she was beaten by some of the thugs she arranged to meet, she was undaunted. According to King, "she continued to contact men through ads and the mail, often boasting that she would try anything sexual at least once. She spoke of her many sexual toys, including a vibrating egg and other vibrators, and continued to talk about liking sadomasochism, bondage and dominance, ménage a trois, and sex with other women. She claimed that she was bisexual and liked to 'swing' with couples where the woman was also bisexual. As was her custom she would ask the men for varying denominations of money, depending upon the sexual scenario. Often she would not show up for the dates that she had arranged and would keep the money that had been sent to her. According to friends, when she did show up it was only to satisfy her sexual cravings. Friends said that she’d had hundreds of lovers over the years." Bonnie also was fond of bars, according to the same book, and "would hang out at nightclubs until the early morning hours." Ironically, King adds, she spoke to others about the "dangerous lifestyle" she lived, and even "said that she would probably meet a man one day who would end up killing her."

Edit to fix  name typo in subject line.  MB
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 05:57:53 PM by MuffyBee » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2012, 05:57:12 PM »

Bonny Lee was a fame hag. One of us. She knew she couldn’t be a star, so she went out of her way to meet them, greet them, screw them, and marry them. Ok, not completely like us. She supposedly had sexual relationships with Chubby Checker (hooray), Christian Brando (danger much?), Frankie Vallee (Grease is the word), and Jerry Lee Lewis (ew). Her latest conquest was marrying Robert Blake. A lot of you know him as the star of the television show Baretta. I remember him better as Mickey, from the Our Gang series. He was a cute kid. He is now a 67 year old psychotic. Big time. Serious screws loose. I remember reading that his father used to beat the crap out of him, and lock him in the closet for days. Something about sitting in his own excrement. That sort of thing. Not a happy family.

Bonny met Blake in a night club a couple of years ago, and they were seeing each other. In August of 2000, she had a baby. She named it Kristian Brando (it was a girl) because she thought it was Christian’s kid. DNA tests proved that the father was Robert Blake. It always kills me that people have to get tested to find out who their child’s father is. What a slut. Anyway, they got married in November of 2000. Robert scared the shit out of Bonny. She claimed that he never physically harmed her, but he could be "really scary." She told a lot of people that she feared for her life. So here’s what happened:

On Friday May 4th, the two of them were eating at a restaurant called Vitello’s, in Studio City. It was a regular place for Blake, and they even had a pasta dish named after him. He ate that. I’ll have a bowl of me, please. She ordered the cheese ravioli. They ate and left and got in to their car about 9:40pm - Bonnie bun bun in the passenger side. Now I don’t really get this next part. Blake returns to the restaurant looking shaken. He asks for two glasses of water, drinks them, and asks if there was a doctor in the restaurant. Blake claimed that he left a gun behind, as you do, in the restaurant. Supposedly Bonny gave the gun to Blake to hang on to, because she was afraid of a stalker. Restaurant staff didn’t see any gun. Blake returns to the car.

Bonny was wearing a black skirt and t-shirt, patent leather shoes, a gray girdle and a black Judith Michaels blouse. She also has several bullet holes in her.

Next thing that happens, Blake rings his friend Sean Stanek’s doorbell, across the street from where the car was parked. He says to his buddy, "My wife’s hurt and bleeding." They call 911 and go to the car, parked next to a dumpster. She was still alive, but bleeding badly. She was shot in the head. Stanek held her hand, while Blake was puking, walking in circles and weeping. He kept going on, "Oh my God. Oh my God." Paramedics were called, they worked on the girl, but she was DOA at St. Joseph’s hospital. She was 44 years old.

Edit to fix name typo in subject line.  MB
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 05:58:40 PM by MuffyBee » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2012, 09:06:22 PM »

Interesting that I find this thread on Bonnie Blakely today.  Robert Blake was on Piers Morgan last night (I don't know if it was a re run or not).  Nevertheless, I had never seen it.  Oh my goodness...

He is really a nut case, but I could not stop watching him spew words out of his mouth.  I had no idea that he had such a horrible upbringing.  His parents did not love him, and his mother tried to abort him with a coat hanger, so he says.

He discovered acting as an outlet/replacement for love and friendship, so he says.

He was VERY agitated being questioned about the night of the murder.  However, I noticed he did not get up from the interview and walk out.  Instead he relished in attacking Piers Morgan.

He has an autobiography out - I am sitting on the fence as to whether I wish to read it.  One comment that he did make was that Bonnie had so many enemies, it could be a number of people that she scammed that would like to see her dead.

Did anyone else see the show??
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« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2012, 05:46:55 AM »

Interesting that I find this thread on Bonnie Blakely today.  Robert Blake was on Piers Morgan last night (I don't know if it was a re run or not).  Nevertheless, I had never seen it.  Oh my goodness...

He is really a nut case, but I could not stop watching him spew words out of his mouth.  I had no idea that he had such a horrible upbringing.  His parents did not love him, and his mother tried to abort him with a coat hanger, so he says.

He discovered acting as an outlet/replacement for love and friendship, so he says.

He was VERY agitated being questioned about the night of the murder.  However, I noticed he did not get up from the interview and walk out.  Instead he relished in attacking Piers Morgan.

He has an autobiography out - I am sitting on the fence as to whether I wish to read it.  One comment that he did make was that Bonnie had so many enemies, it could be a number of people that she scammed that would like to see her dead.

Did anyone else see the show??

He was on Johnny Carson show YEARS ago. RB said his parents made him steal bottles of milk from neighbors houses. When the Milkman dropped off milk to the front porch or stoop, he was to steal the bottled milk Sad

Does anyone remember Robert Blake from "Our Gang"?  The Little Rascal's? Smile

So sad about Bonny.... she chose the wrong guy.

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« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2012, 03:27:55 PM »

Interesting that I find this thread on Bonnie Blakely today.  Robert Blake was on Piers Morgan last night (I don't know if it was a re run or not).  Nevertheless, I had never seen it.  Oh my goodness...

He is really a nut case, but I could not stop watching him spew words out of his mouth.  I had no idea that he had such a horrible upbringing.  His parents did not love him, and his mother tried to abort him with a coat hanger, so he says.

He discovered acting as an outlet/replacement for love and friendship, so he says.

He was VERY agitated being questioned about the night of the murder.  However, I noticed he did not get up from the interview and walk out.  Instead he relished in attacking Piers Morgan.

He has an autobiography out - I am sitting on the fence as to whether I wish to read it.  One comment that he did make was that Bonnie had so many enemies, it could be a number of people that she scammed that would like to see her dead.

Did anyone else see the show??

YES I did that was  what  got me going on her omg she was something I spent all of four hours
looking up her past. Anyone of the men she took money from could have done this 
He is pissed I don't think he will ever be alright


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« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2012, 03:34:08 PM »

n the years when Bonny was raking in money from her tawdry sex business, she never lost sight of her appetite for celebrities. Indeed, her pursuit of country musician Jerry Lee Lewis (at left) is one of the most bizarre chapters of her life. The singer, a cousin of disgraced televangelist Jim Swaggert and now in his late sixties, was popular on radio stations in the 1950s, and made appearances at such venues as the Steve Allen Show and even in concert overseas during 1958. But his star quickly lost its luster after a scandal over his marriage to a 13-year-old cousin. His records were dropped by radio stations and he ended up, in the words of a fan web site, doing "an endless string of one-night-stands." Said Lewis, "From $10,000 a night to $250 is a hell of a disappointment." (1)

But even thirty years later, Lewis had one devoted fan - perhaps "obsessed" is a better word - in the person of Bonny Lee Bakley. She set out to get him any way she could, literally stalking him anywhere he went. She reportedly went so far as to bribe a travel agent for information about flights he was planning to take, then booked seats next to his. When Bakley gave birth to a daughter in 1993, she proudly claimed the baby had been fathered by Lewis, even succeeding in getting some tabloid newspaper coverage for her story. (2) Not surprisingly, she named the little girl (pictured with Bakley at upper right) Jeri Lee Lewis. Numerous press reports have stated that tests were done, however, and they revealed the baby was not his.

But that wasn't the last chapter in the bizarre Lewis saga. After years of throwing herself at him, she eventually realized nothing would happen, and she settled for fantasy, calling herself "Bonny Lee Lewis" and sending out Christmas cards with a picture of the two of them and an inscribed signature: "Happy Holidays, Jerry Lee and Bonny Lee."

Altogether, Bakley spent more than 10 years pursuing Lewis, says an article in Entertainment Weekly. It quoted the singer's former road manager, J.W. Whitten: "She was all over us ... She would always stay in the same hotels we were in. She popped up at one of his birthday parties. Once she offered me money to tell her where he was. She actually thought she had a shot at being Jerry's girlfriend." (3)

After Bonny's killing made headlines around the world, Lewis issued a statement to disassociate himself from the woman. "I want to make it clear that I have never fathered a child by Mrs. Robert Blake," said the statement, which referred to Bakley as a nuisance who had gone so far as to threaten to kill Lewis's son if he did not take her as his lover. (4)
Bonny Bakley with Jerry Lee Lewis

Bakley financed her extravagant trips, the nightclubs, hotels and favor-buying not only by means of her mail order sex and marriage hoaxes, but by means of credit card and identity theft, fraud, and even trumped-up lawsuits. The book, Blood Cold, notes:

By the mid-1990s, Bonny Lee Bakley was roving ever further out of control. She slept all day and played all night, and always let someone else pick up the check. She had a scam for every occasion. Need a free meal? Go with Bonny for seven courses and you wouldn't even have to pay for coffee? Need gasoline? Pick a card, any card - they all worked at the pump, no matter whose name was printed on them.

She received Social Security checks in all sorts of different names. It was just a matter of getting them cashed, and all that required was ID.

... Bonny found that lawsuits were another way to supplement her income. She would pop into her attorney's office fairly regularly with a possible personal damage action - everything from getting popped in the nose to falling down in a convenience store and injuring her tail-bone. (Cool

While her sex and porn racket remained "Bonny's bread and butter," according to the same book, her phoney credit card habit is one that can cause long-lasting misery to victims. And Bonny wasn't the only Bakley involved in identity theft. Brother Joseph (right) financed his life the same way. According to Paul Johnsen of the San Diego District Attorney's office, the younger Bakley "worked his way across the country" using the names and social security numbers of former friends and acquaintances. With this identification, he would apply for credit cards in those names. And, because the bills were sent to Joseph's address in San Diego, the victims were never aware that their credit was being gradually ruined. (9)

Identity theft not only ruins credit. It can - and often does - result in false imprisonment. As one on-line news agency explains it, "There’s nothing new about criminals using aliases to evade the law — criminals often try to give their buddy’s name, address, and date of birth to dupe police. But the explosion of identity theft, and the ready availability of stolen digital dossiers on innocent victims, makes it just as easy for a criminal to give a stranger’s personal data during an arrest. Once police book a suspect under a fake name, that mistake can plague a victim for life." (10)


Indeed, one of Bakley's victims came forward in February of 2004 to talk about what happened to her after Bakley got her hands on an old ID. The woman, 46-year-old Sylvia Simon, says her credit rating was destroyed along with her good name. As it turns out, Sylvia Burks Simon was once married to Bakley associate Robert Stefanow. She divorced him in about 1982, after which Stefanow traveled to Tennessee and became the seventh husband of Jerry Lee Lewis's youngest sister, Linda Gail. After Bakley seduced Stefanow, Lewis tossed him out. Among the things Stefanow left was an old ID of Sylvia's. Bakley paid Linda Gail $500 for it, and proceeded to run up an assortment of bills, including an unpaid debt of more than $1,200 at the French Riviera Spa in Memphis.

For years, Simon was aware of the ID theft problem and even reported it to the sheriff's department at Deltona, Florida in 1999. But nothing could be done. Even though Bakley was arrested with a false ID in the name of Sylvia Stefanow, Simon only learned it was Bakley when her name surfaced as one of Bakley's false identities at the time of her death. "Using my name, driver's license, Social Security number and date of birth, Bonny had been able to obtain a new driver's license for herself, set up bank accounts, rent mailboxes, operate an escort business and order credit cards," she says. "If I could tell Bonny just one thing, it would be that she ruined my lfe." (12)

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« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2012, 03:41:16 PM »

She sold pictures of herself when she was young like this one as bait to get men to send her money it worked  

Warning:  x-rated photo

 There were a number of the lonely-hearts advertisements that she had placed in magazines that described her as a “young single pretty girl.” One of the ads read: “I can travel if you can’t in order to meet. I’m sad and lonely due to a recent breakup with someone I was engaged to, need your letters to cheer me.”

Blonde - removed the IMG tags but left the link with a warning

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« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2012, 06:59:12 PM »

Interesting that I find this thread on Bonnie Blakely today.  Robert Blake was on Piers Morgan last night (I don't know if it was a re run or not).  Nevertheless, I had never seen it.  Oh my goodness...

He is really a nut case, but I could not stop watching him spew words out of his mouth.  I had no idea that he had such a horrible upbringing.  His parents did not love him, and his mother tried to abort him with a coat hanger, so he says.

He discovered acting as an outlet/replacement for love and friendship, so he says.

He was VERY agitated being questioned about the night of the murder.  However, I noticed he did not get up from the interview and walk out.  Instead he relished in attacking Piers Morgan.

He has an autobiography out - I am sitting on the fence as to whether I wish to read it.  One comment that he did make was that Bonnie had so many enemies, it could be a number of people that she scammed that would like to see her dead.

Did anyone else see the show??

YES I did that was  what  got me going on her omg she was something I spent all of four hours
looking up her past. Anyone of the men she took money from could have done this 
He is pissed I don't think he will ever be alright

I agree.  He was beyond pissed in the interview.  But I don't think he was ever alright from the get go - according to what he said about himself in that interview.  I just don't understand why he married her - she had his child - but he could have supported, loved, raised and been a part of the child's life.  For God's sake, it was Hollywood - he could have made it work without marrying her.  She was toxic.  And I believe he was too.  Kind of like a perfect storm.

I may go back and read about the trial.  Wonder if he really did do it.  He had so much money, why would he do it himself and why would he have it done when he was with her??  She could have been out on one of her "missions" and he have it (murder) done?
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« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2012, 02:32:26 PM »


Interview with Robert Blake

Aired July 11, 2012 - 21:00   ET


PIERS MORGAN, HOST: Tonight, exclusive.


ROBERT BLAKE, ACTOR: I've never allowed anybody to ask me the questions that you're asking.


MORGAN: From child star to Hollywood legend to a man on trial for his life. Robert Blake tells me his story as he's never told it before. Explosive.


BLAKE: I'll get to you (EXPLETIVE DELETED) later but don't think you're going to get off the hook. I was supposed to die in that cell, wasn't I, you (EXPLETIVE DELETED).


MORGAN: Controversial.

BLAKE: Does that mean I'm lying to you?

MORGAN: I don't know. Are you?

BLAKE: What do you think?


MORGAN: This is Robert Blake as you've never seen him before anywhere.


MORGAN: Do you think that you're sane?

BLAKE: I'm what?

MORGAN: Do you think you're sane? Do you feel you have your full sanity? Or has what's happened to you sent you slightly mad? What do you think?

BLAKE: Well, I'll tell you. (END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: Tonight, Robert Blake. The PIERS MORGAN interview starts now.

Good evening. I've been interviewing celebrities and public figures for more than 25 years, more than 2,000 people including presidents, prime ministers, movie, TV and pop stars, but I have never had an encounter as explosive, confrontational or as extraordinary as the one you're about to witness.

Robert Blake is a Hollywood legend, who shot to fame as the star of the "Our Gang" series, he went on to a chilling role as a murderer in the 1967 film "In Cold Blood." And he won an Emmy for the classic '70s TV series, "Barretta."

Everything changed in 1999 when he met Bonnie Lee Bakley, the woman who became the mother of his child. In 2000 he married her. It's his second marriage and it's her 10th. Less than six months later she was dead, killed by a gunshot to the head while she was sitting in a car outside a restaurant where she and Blake had had dinner. He was charged with his wife's murder, acquitted after a sensual court case.

Then Bonnie Lee Bakley's children filed a civil suit against Blake alleging he was responsible for their mother's death. He was found liable, ordered to pay $30 million and declared himself bankrupt.

Since then Robert Blake has kept a pretty low profile. He hasn't given a television interview for nearly a decade. He has written a book called "Tales of a Rascal: What I Did for Love." Tonight he breaks his silence. And you haven't seen an interview quite like this.

Robert Blake is a man on the edge, a man full of pent-up fury on what he says has wrongfully happened to him.


MORGAN: Robert, how are you?

BLAKE: Well, I'm not nearly as interesting as you just described. But I'll take it and run like -- holy Toledo. Do I look like that?

MORGAN: You do.

BLAKE: You ought to take that raggedy (EXPLETIVE DELETED) old thing out in the yard and bury it. I look like that? No, I look like that. God dam it. OK, yes, sir, I'm sorry. I'm here.

MORGAN: When was the last time you gave an interview?

BLAKE: How am I? Well, how -- an interview? Well, a couple of weeks ago at a motorcycle joint a chick came up to me with a very interesting accent and she interviewed me for quite a while. But --

MORGAN: On major television.

BLAKE: -- (EXPLETIVE DELETED) program and I wasn't available yet. But last time I was interviewed, I guess right here, the guy with the --

MORGAN: Larry, yes.

BLAKE: Yes. When I was acquitted. I went to -- I promised Barbara Walters who saved my life and won't talk to me now, but that's another story. I promised her that if I was acquitted or I went to jail or committed suicide, she would get the first interview, so I flew to New York and I talked to her for 10 minutes and I came back. And I've been roaming around the country and doing -- what the hell have I been doing?

MORGAN: I don't know. I'm --

BLAKE: How are you, Robert? How am I? Well, I'm lonely. The way I always am. I was born lonely, I live lonely, and I'll die lonely. But the audience has always given me a life ever since I was 2 years old. I danced for them on the streets and they threw money and I said I'm home. And it's nice to be back.

MORGAN: What do you -- what do you think your public reputation is now?

BLAKE: My public reputation? I've been traveling around the country for a long time because I was kind of -- after the trial, I was a nervous breakdown. And if anybody in my life -- I didn't have anybody in my life, but if anybody loved me, they would have taken me to Hawaii and laid me down in the sand. But there wasn't anybody, so I just got in the car and drove around, living on Twinkies and whoever's bread and grew a beard and walked into a poolroom and shoot some 9-ball and stuff like that. But the fans have never, ever, ever left me.

MORGAN: You keep --


MORGAN: Communicate with them through Facebook and stuff, right?

BLAKE: I had a Facebook. I don't know what the hell a Facebook is. I don't even type. But a friend of mine said you need a Facebook. I thought they were going to cut my face or something. But they said, OK, now here it is. You just talk to the people. And it was very nice. The people said well, tell us about Alfalfa. What was he really like? I said OK, I can do that. And that was two or three pages. Somebody else was typing. Not me. And that went on for a while. But then pretty soon, weird things started to happen. They started saying, well, that isn't really the way Elizabeth Taylor was.

I'm saying I went to school with Elizabeth Taylor. I sat next to her when I was 5 years old. We were boyfriends and girlfriends. No, that isn't Elizabeth Taylor and you really don't know. And I said, you know what, this is (EXPLETIVE DELETED), goodbye. But what was weird was I couldn't stop talking about myself to myself. And I started saying goddamn, this is an amazing life. Did I really live this thing?

MORGAN: How much of it -- I mean you've ridden this extraordinary book. There's no other word for it. It is an extraordinary read. It is in parts compelling, in parts rambling, I'll be honest with you. In parts scary, sad, funny. It's everything. I've never read a book quite like it.


MORGAN: I've probably never seen a life quite like it.

BLAKE: That's what it said on the back of the book. It said, this is an amazing book but don't publish it.


MORGAN: It's a story, unless I'm wrong, in your eyes of constantly being betrayed and let down. That's the theme that runs through from when you're first born and your parents want to abort you and end up they can't afford to. From then on, it just seems like your life has been --

BLAKE: If Frank Sinatra's mother would have worked for nothing, I wouldn't have been here. But she wanted 15 bucks and he didn't have it.

MORGAN: Well, because she was the woman that was doing these at the time, right?

BLAKE: I -- OK, I'll get serious for just a minute. I know it is show business and I'm supposed to keep it funny but --

MORGAN: No, I'd rather keep it serious.

BLAKE: When I did all that Facebook stuff and then I went into the closet and I found two boxes of pictures that I didn't know exist. They were full of rat (EXPLETIVE DELETED) and I pulled all these pictures out and I said that's all me. And I said, what do I do with this? Somebody said write a book. And I couldn't write a book. Because I'm not going to write six books.

I'm only going to write one book. How do I put 75 years in one book? Well, you do it the way you just saw. There's four or five little chapters about the "Rascals," there's chapters about those rotten (EXPLETIVE DELETED) cops that ripped my guts out and left me beside the road to die.

I'll get to you son of (EXPLETIVE DELETED) later, but don't think you're going to get off the hook. I was supposed to die in that cell wasn't I, you (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Well, I didn't die. And you didn't get your book deals, you mothers. I wrote a book about you. So you'll have to go out and rip some other celebrity until he's dead then you can write a book about him.

I'm sorry, I'm back. That's how -- so the book became all of my life. There's 20 years of a crazy (EXPLETIVE DELETED) marriage. There's alcohol, there's drugs, there's the best of times. The best of times when I was 8 years old my life was exquisite. I went to MGM when I was 5. I was an extra and I'm watching. And I said, wait a minute, if you talk, they pay attention to you. I don't care about the money, they pay attention to you. And I found love, just the way I found love on the sidewalk when I passed --

MORGAN: Do you think you're sane?

BLAKE: I'm what?

MORGAN: Do you think you're sane? Do you think you have your full sanity? Or has what's happened to you sent you slightly mad? What do you think?

BLAKE: Well, I'll tell you. I think I was born -- the truth is I think I'm sort of a mutation, or a sub-species. I think if I was born 10,000 years ago, I would have taken two or three people gun off and started another tribe.
MORGAN: How much do you blame your parents?

BLAKE: I don't blame anybody. I -- that book is about God. God kept me alive in a womb when my mother tried to abort me with coat hangers twice. God kept me alive for the first two years of my life when nobody gave (EXPLETIVE DELETED) whether I lived or died. God showed me where that sidewalk was when I started dancing. When I got out here I was 5 years old, I stood in front of MGM and I said I can do this. And I walked in there, three years later, I starred in my first film.

MORGAN: I am curious, because it's in the book and it's a powerful testimony in your life, I think. The relationship you had with your parents. Because from what I've read about that relationship, they didn't care for you, they didn't love you. You had --

BLAKE: I was a pain in the ass to them.


BLAKE: They had two children. Then they had two abortions. Then she got pregnant again, but she really got pregnant with my uncle across the street, because that's who she was always in love with. So now she's pregnant with me. He says to her, go to hell, and he runs off. Now she hates me. My father hates me because in his heart he knows that I'm his brother's kid. They tried to get rid of me. And they couldn't.


MORGAN: Did they ever tell you that they loved you, your parents? BLAKE: Never. They didn't even talk to me. I was like a, you know, they paid more attention to a dog than they paid to me.

MORGAN: But although you don't necessarily blame them because of your belief in God, how much do you think did it damage your character, damage your personality, make you a damaged person?

BLAKE: Oh, I think that if I came from a different family, I would have been a very different person. I have lived my life in front of people. From the time I was 2 years old, I was in front of people, never with them. And I've always been kind of alone that way. But as long as there was a camera within 10 feet of me that I could get in front of, or if I can get in front of an audience, I feel comfortable. I feel at home. But I've never been a successful person in terms of relationships. You know, I -- I'll give you one line --

MORGAN: Are you capable of love?

BLAKE: Absolutely. I love my life. I love God. I can't tell you, my -- love spills out of my ears at night when I'm lying alone. The gratitude that I have for my life. How could you not love a God that kept you alive in a cement box for a year? How could you not love a God that kept you in the womb when you were supposed to be dead out of the womb?

MORGAN: Let's -- let's take a short break, Robert. I want to come back and talk to you about the events of 2001, because clearly your life was very, very different after that.


BLAKE: Take that to the bank, brother.




MORGAN: Back now with more of my exclusive interview with Robert Blake. The high point of his movie career was without a doubt 1957's "In Cold Blood." He's absolutely chilling as the murderer Perry Smith. Take a look.


BLAKE: He started yelling. What a greedy selfish bastard I was. Yelling and yelling until I grabbed his throat. I couldn't stop myself. He (INAUDIBLE) lose, got a gun, he said, look at me, boy, take a good look, because I'm the last living thing you're ever going to see. And he pulled the trigger. But the gun wasn't loaded.


BLAKE: Could I just say one word about this?


BLAKE: Before -- I came to the set and boy, I was so raw and I was so ready to play that scene. We started the scene and the tears are flowing and I'm rolling, and I'm Spencer Tracy, I'm John Garfield, I'm everybody on the planet. And the boss says, cut. He said, clear the set. Everybody get out of here. And he came up to me and he said, Robert, the rain is crying for you. I said, what the hell are you talking about, boss? He said you just say the words.

Now I've got enough emotion in me to start World War III. He says, here, take a cup of coffee. He calmed me down and he said, all I want you to do is say the words. And I did it. And it became one of the most memorable scenes. Everybody talks about that scene and how brilliant it was.

And you know what? Let me just say this. Without blowing smoke up your (EXPLETIVE DELETED), I mean this with all of my heart. I'm deeply grateful that I'm here with you because in the past I could do any talk show I wanted in the world. But Barbara Walters said, you know, I love you, Robert, but you can't be on "The View." Why? Because we sell toothpaste and if we get a letter from some PTA lady who says what are you doing with that accused murderer on your show? So all of that was denied me.

And I said well, the hell with them. I can't retire. I can't do it. I've got to show the cops and all those son of a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) that thought I was dead that I can get on the bull and ride him again. My goal in life is to make one more beautiful film, not write books and not do talk shows and not go out and sign autographs, like all older actors and that (EXPLETIVE DELETED) are doing. There's nothing wrong with it. That would be fine. I could go on the road and spend my -- the rest of my life with the people.

But then the cops would have won. The (EXPLETIVE DELETED) that killed me would see that I was still in my grave. But if I get in the middle of that arena and ride that bull and do the best movie I ever did in my life, man, Harvey Weinstein is out there some place and Kevin Costner and whoever they are, and I'll find one of them and I'll go out the way I want to go out. And that's not living some kind of half-assed (EXPLETIVE DELETED) life that old actors live. That's the name of that tune.
Where were we?


MORGAN: Well, I was going to bring you to the events of 2001 --


MORGAN: The events that obviously dramatically changed your life. Before the night that your wife died, tell me about your relationship with Bonnie Lee leading up to that night.

BLAKE: It's funny, when push comes to shove, whether I'm in a motorcycle's joint or a barbershop or wherever, sooner or later -- and take this with love, not sharpness. Everybody wants to put me on the stand, because I didn't take the stand. So, OK, I promised to tell the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the -- my real name is Michael James Gubitosi. I was born in 1933 in Nutley, New Jersey.

Now what would you like to hear?

MORGAN: What your relationship was like with her before she died.

BLAKE: My relationship with her was not bad. I felt sorry for her sometimes because God never gave her that little piece of sunshine that he gave me. All the times I could have been dead and should have been dead and would have been dead. But God always said, no, here's the sidewalk, little boy. Go out there and dance and they'll throw money.

She wanted to be, I don't know, a movie star. She was a talented woman. She was a lot of things. And we got married. Everybody said, well, why did you get married? Why not? I have the gift of --


MORGAN: Did you know --

BLAKE: I had the most beautiful gift that anybody could ever have. I had a newborn child in my hands.

MORGAN: Did you love her, though?

BLAKE: No. I didn't know her well enough to know her. I love her -- well, I love you as a human being. You're my brother in arms. We're all in this thing together. But we were not dramatically in love or things like that.

MORGAN: Once you got married and stuff about her past begun to materialize, the stuff about being a scam artist, about --

BLAKE: I knew that before we got married.

MORGAN: Did you know everything about her?

BLAKE: Nobody ever knows -- everything and I -- particularly a person like Bonnie. Nobody will ever know everything about Bonnie --

MORGAN: If you're being honest, though, Robert, was she -- was she duplicitous? Was she a liar? Was she a con artist?

BLAKE: I think she was a con artist, yes. I think she came to Hollywood to con her way into show business. I mean I -- she tried to hustle Christian Brando. She actually named my baby Christian Brando. And I changed the name. But when we found out that -- that I was the father and what better thing could I do for myself or my baby than marry her mother? What's the down side? What's the worst that could happen?

After three or four years, it didn't work out and then we got divorced. But I would have my baby all the time with me, rather than having to fly to wherever she chose to live and go through lawyers and all that (EXPLETIVE DELETED) about I want to see my baby, yada, yada. What did I need that for? I'm an old man. I'm filthy rich. I've got $25 million. I'm not talking abstract.

I mean I had $25 million that I could get my hands on in one day. I didn't have margin stock, I owned the stock. I own half of Santa Monica. Hard dollars. I'm broke now. I couldn't buy a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) for a field mouse. I'm broke as -- well, I'm -- I couldn't buy a hole in a nickel donut. But I was filthy rich. You say, well, Robert, where did all the money go?
Well, check with all those rats that jumped ship when the going got tough -- my family, my friends, my business agents, my managers, all those sons of (EXPLETIVE DELETED) that came to jail and told me to sign this and sign that and sign this and -- well, why didn't you go after them, Robert?

Well, because I wanted to get out of the middle of the whole world. Remember, I got arrested before 9/11. So the media was always looking for something to tear up and rip up and eat. And so I wanted to get away from all that.


MORGAN: We asked ABC for a response to what Robert Blake had to say about Barbara Walters and "The View." They had no comment. And for the record, we have no preconditions for his interview with me.

When we come back, things get really heated when I asked Robert Blake about the murder of his wife.


MORGAN: Back now to my exclusive interview with Robert Blake. As you've seen, he's raw, riveting and absolutely unpredictable especially when I asked him about his wife. Blake was tried and acquitted of her murder. And as you'll see, he gets very angry and defensive when I bring it up.


MORGAN: Let me just rewind a little bit.

BLAKE: Rewind?

MORGAN: Do you believe that --

BLAKE: Am I still on the stand? No, I'm teasing. Go ahead.

MORGAN: I understand. I want to get to the truth, if I can.

BLAKE: Tell the truth if you can. Be careful.

MORGAN: Was Bonnie -- BLAKE: I want you to be careful because sometimes that guy in the ear tends to insult me a little bit. You want to get to the truth if you can. Does that mean I'm lying to you?

MORGAN: I don't know. Are you?

BLAKE: What did you think?

MORGAN: I don't know. I mean I think we're going to get to some questions where --

BLAKE: Well, tell me where I'm lying, because if you don't know I'm telling you the truth, then you must have a little scratch in the back of your head about where I'm lying.

BLAKE: Tell me where I'm lying.

MORGAN: I'm not saying you're lying.

BLAKE: But you're saying you don't know if I'm telling the truth. What the hell is the difference?

MORGAN: I'm saying I've met you for, what, 20 minutes?

BLAKE: I don't care about that. You put me on the stand. I'm telling the truth --

MORGAN: I don't put you on the stand.

BLAKE: -- and you say you're scratching the head.

MORGAN: Why are you being so defensive?

BLAKE: Because you just insulted me.

MORGAN: I didn't insult you.

BLAKE: Yes, you did. Nobody tells me I'm a liar.

MORGAN: I didn't call you a liar.

BLAKE: You said I might not be telling the truth. What the hell is the difference?

MORGAN: I said I'm going to ask you --

BLAKE: You know, I don't want to take this any place special. All I want -- OK, let me say it this way. My skin is a little bit thin.


BLAKE: Which is why I stay away from people mostly. I've never allowed anybody to ask me the questions that you're asking. I allowed you to do that because I trust you. And I would have assumed that you and that guy in your ear would trust me. And if you don't, then we'd better start talking about "The Little Rascals."

MORGAN: No, I'm asking you questions about very --

BLAKE: Did you hear what I said?

MORGAN: -- well documented -- I heard what you said.

BLAKE: I allowed you in because I trusted you. And that's a very big step.

MORGAN: But you don't know me.

BLAKE: We're supposed to be talking about what's in the book. That was my deal. You can talk about anything that's in the book.

MORGAN: Right.

BLAKE: Now you want me to talk about Bonnie. Bonnie is not in the book. I chose to allow you to go there and you should deeply, deeply respect that.


BLAKE: Now let the guy in your ear talk to you.

MORGAN: There's no one talking in my ear.


MORGAN: Do you believe that Bonnie Lee was faithful to you?

BLAKE: You mean physically faithful?


BLAKE: Sure.

MORGAN: I mean people have tried to construct -- those who don't believe you --

BLAKE: Who are those people? Do you represent some of those people?

MORGAN: I don't represent anybody.

BLAKE: Well, then how do you know people have tried to construct --

MORGAN: Listen, listen, Robert, I wasn't even living in this country when this happened.

BLAKE: Well, then where are you getting all this (EXPLETIVE DELETED) about the people? I've been out with the people for 10 years. Nobody -- MORGAN: You can --


BLAKE: There ain't nobody trying to construct anything.

MORGAN: You can tap your name into the Internet and you will find a number of people who, at the time and continue to cast aspersions on your innocence over what happened. Now you were acquitted --

BLAKE: Those people cast aspersions on everybody, because people in America are deliriously unhappy right now. Their country is going to (EXPLETIVE DELETED) and gone. Their money is going to (EXPLETIVE DELETED) gone. The American dream is going to (EXPLETIVE DELETED) and gone. And they'll kick the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out of a dead person because that's where America is right now.

MORGAN: But as you know --

BLAKE: I'm making --

MORGAN: Robert, Robert. As you know you were --

BLAKE: What, do you think --

MORGAN: You were acquitted in a court of law.


MORGAN: Of killing Bonnie.


MORGAN: But you were then found liable in a civil action brought by her family. That is why people believe --

BLAKE: Oh, is that why?

MORGAN: Well, don't you think that that is a reason why some people believe you may have done it? You were a huge Hollywood star and a great actor. No one can take that away from you. But in 2001, you were accused of killing your wife. You were acquitted. You spent a year in a prison cell, a cement box, as you call it. But after you were acquitted, the family of your dead wife sued you in a civil case --

BLAKE: Do you know why --

MORGAN: -- and you were found liable.

BLAKE: Do you know why I was arrested?

MORGAN: Weren't you?

BLAKE: Do you know why I was arrested? MORGAN: Tell me.

BLAKE: How come I was arrested for murder and I stayed arrested for four years, one in a cement box and three in my front room, where I couldn't leave because I was still under arrest. A fellow named Specter was arrested for an hour and went home and was a free man for four years. Then he was found guilty and he's in San Quentin.

You got any idea why, why I was under arrest for four years and he was under arrest for an hour, Mr. Research?

MORGAN: No, I don't.

BLAKE: Well, why the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) don't you look it up before we start talking about it? You know what's in the book. If you were going to go some place else, you and the guy in your ear should have gotten at least some information. Why didn't he get a grand jury hearing? Why did he stay in a cement box for a year? Why was there no bail? What about -- what the hell happened to bail?

MORGAN: Why were you found guilty, do you think, in the civil case? Why were you found liable?

BLAKE: I told you why.


BLAKE: I would have been -- I -- if you were -- if you were the lawyer on that side, I took the stand. I was suicidal. Do you understand what -- a little bit earlier, you asked me, do you think I'm sane? At that time, no, I wasn't. I was suicidal. I didn't give a shit if I lived or died. And I damn near did kill myself several times, once in the ocean. I didn't write that in the book because I don't want to get too goddamned morbid.

MORGAN: Right.

BLAKE: But God stopped me when I was about a mile and a half out on a black ocean on a black night and said, get home, (EXPLETIVE DELETED), it ain't over.

MORGAN: Do you remember the night that she died well, or is it now something you've blocked out of your head?

BLAKE: No, I remember it quite well.

MORGAN: You went and had dinner at this restaurant.

BLAKE: Where are you going?

MORGAN: I'm interested in what happened. BLAKE: No, you're not interested. The guy -- what are you doing? What the hell are you doing?

MORGAN: Let me help you. Let me take this out of my ear. There's no one talking to me, OK? You haven't got a worry. There is nobody talking to me. These are my questions for you, which are based, in my view carefully --

BLAKE: Now you want to know what happened that night?

MORGAN: -- on your story. I'm curious, yes.

BLAKE: No, you're not curious.

MORGAN: I am, because you were acquitted and then --

BLAKE: I thought you said you researched all this. So you know what happened that night.

MORGAN: I know -- I know the facts of the night.

BLAKE: What?

MORGAN: I'm curious about --

BLAKE: Tell me about the facts of the night.

MORGAN: You take your wife for dinner to a restaurant.

BLAKE: Go ahead.

MORGAN: Your wife goes to the car. You go back to retrieve, as you say, your gun, which is in the restaurant. And when you return, your wife has been shot dead. When they test the gun that you go and retrieve, that is not the same gun that killed her. Am I right so far?

BLAKE: So far.

MORGAN: Right. So I'm factually correct?


MORGAN: I have no agenda here at all. You clearly think I do, but I don't.

BLAKE: Well, it sounds boring as hell, but go ahead.

MORGAN: I don't think it's boring. Your wife got murdered.

BLAKE: No, but your questions are boring, because I mean even what you just said, are you sure the people at Tibet give a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) about any of this?

MORGAN: I think you're here because you've written a book about your life.


MORGAN: And I would argue --

BLAKE: There's a lot more to my life --

MORGAN: I'm sure there is.

BLAKE: -- than that night.

MORGAN: But there's probably nothing more significant in your life than --


MORGAN: Really? Than the murder of your wife?

BLAKE: I didn't murder my wife. It may be significant to you.

MORGAN: I didn't say you did it.

BLAKE: But it isn't to me.

MORGAN: I said -- I said --

BLAKE: You said there's nothing more significant.

MORGAN: Than the murder of your wife.

BLAKE: Personally, it's not the most significant thing in my life.

MORGAN: What is the --

BLAKE: The most significant thing in my life? Is when I was 2 years old and I found an audience. The next most significant thing is when I went to MGM as an extra and three years later, I starred in my first film. You know, the -- America just was going to war. It was the worst time in the world for America. But there's nothing more significant than a little boy with no parents, no friends, nothing, walking into MGM and three years later, starring in his first film.

You know how significant that is? No, because you've never lived my life.


MORGAN: Next, Robert Blake tells me what he thinks happened to his wife. Trust me, you're going to want to hear what he says.


MORGAN: I'm back with my explosive interview with Robert Blake. I've saw down with hundreds of guests over the years but there's never been anyone quite like Mr. Blake. I didn't know what to expect and I'm not sure that he did either. One thing is clear. He had a lot to say. A lot of it is in his new book, "Tales of a Rascal: What I Did for Love." I'm going to talk to him about that book but as you'll see that seemed to set him off all over again.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) MORGAN: I've read your book.

BLAKE: Yes. That makes you rich.

MORGAN: That's pretty much every detail of your life --


MORGAN: -- that you deemed --

BLAKE: But here's my phony birth certificate. I don't even know when the hell I was born.

MORGAN: But I've read your book. This is about your life. So I'm much more familiar --

BLAKE: It's not about Bonnie's life. And it's about my relationship with Bonnie. I made a deal to come here and talk about anything in the book. I excused you from that deal because I thought you were going to go -- be cool. Now you're trying to drive it into the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) ground. And I don't know why.

MORGAN: I'm not trying to drive anything to the ground.

BLAKE: You're looking foolish.

MORGAN: I'm not trying to drive anything into the ground. I'm asking you questions about what I presumed to be a very important moment in your life. You've written a book about your life. And if you don't --

BLAKE: I've written a book about my life. I didn't write a book about that night and I didn't write a book about Bonnie. Now you can stay there for the rest of your life if you want to, but I'm telling you, you're starting to look silly.


BLAKE: Because it's stupid. You're not getting any place, because there's no place to get. You're just like the cops. There's no place to get. Keep him in jail until he dies, because everybody who's dead is guilty. Why would I marry her if I was going to kill her? I mean I was worth $25 million. I could have hired somebody to kill her when she was in Tibet or some place. She drove all over the country. She was out selling, doing her -- I could have hired somebody to follow her for 10 months and make her disappear so nobody would ever find her, for Christ's sake.

I would go out to dinner with her to kill her? What the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) is the matter with you?

MORGAN: I didn't say you killed her.

BLAKE: You didn't say I didn't. And you said it's all very interesting. What the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) is so interesting about --

MORGAN: I didn't.

BLAKE: Why don't you ask me some really interesting questions?

MORGAN: I said that you were acquitted in the court case but you were then --


BLAKE: And that I was found and I've told you six times I was suicidal by the time we got --

MORGAN: Right. But Robert, that doesn't change the fact that you were found liable in the civil action. I'm curious about --

BLAKE: You would have found liable if you were in my state.

MORGAN: I am curious --

BLAKE: You are curious about why I was found liable?

MORGAN: I'm curious about how you deal with the fact that a civil action was successfully brought against you for killing your wife.

BLAKE: OK. Here's the bottom line. What you think of me, I don't give a (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

MORGAN: You don't know what I think of you.

BLAKE: What these -- shut up for a minute. These people that you represent, whoever they are, the nuts that you find on the Internet, I don't give a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) what they say to me. I don't really care what I think about me. What I care about is what God thinks about me. When I lay on the bed at night and I say, God, how are we doing, I don't include you. I don't include the people that you represent.

MORGAN: It's not about me. Is it?

BLAKE: Yes, it is. Because you open that door, Charlie Potatoes. I'm not going to let -- I'm not going to sit here and let you or anybody else kick the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out of me without defending myself. And you can take that to the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) bank, Charlie.


BLAKE: And if you want to show me the door, that's fine, too.

MORGAN: I've got no interest in doing that. This is an interview. I'm just asking you questions about a hugely important part of your life. I don't see that that is an aggressive act on my part. I've only stated facts.

BLAKE: You don't have any idea of the facts.

MORGAN: What if I said that --

BLAKE: If you do, you would have said, how the hell come that guy was only arrested for an hour and he was found guilty and I was arrested for four years and found innocent? I could drive that one up your (EXPLETIVE DELETED) just the way you keep driving it up to me, that I was found in the civil suit.

Why the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) don't you go find out what the hell you're talking about?

MORGAN: What have I said to you that's factually inaccurate?

BLAKE: It's not so much factually inaccurate. It's boring. It's boring. You want to tell me about the night because you read it in the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) newspaper some place?

MORGAN: Hasn't it ruined your life?

BLAKE: What -- that's another matter, Charlie.

MORGAN: Does it -- is that boring, the fact that this incident ruined your life?

BLAKE: We're not talking about how my life was ruined. We're talking about me and Bonnie and me and Bonnie and you and the people on the Internet who say this and that about me and the rest of that (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

MORGAN: I've said nothing about you.

BLAKE: Don't you feel at all silly?

MORGAN: I've said nothing about you. I've not cast aspersions --

BLAKE: There's 75 years --

MORGAN: -- on your guilt or otherwise.

BLAKE: -- of a career and you want to keep talking about something that has -- go ahead, Charlie, keep dancing.

MORGAN: You keep putting words in my mouth and you're clearly very angry and very upset.

BLAKE: Not at all, Charlie. If I was angry, I would be out the door. Why don't you go find out why the cops arrested me in the first place and the chief of police got up before the entire world --

MORGAN: Let me ask you. Robert.

BLAKE: -- and said we solved the case. Robert Blake is the murderer.

MORGAN: Who do you --

BLAKE: What the hell happened to my constitutional rights?

MORGAN: With all that you've been able to find out since that night, who do you think killed Bonnie?

BLAKE: It's not what I've been able to find out since that night. Bonnie had people that she burned. How bad, I don't know. Did she steal everything from them, something -- we'll leave that alone. But nobody ever really knew where Bonnie was. She had 15 I.D. cards. She had 15 credit cards. She had different places where she lived and nobody could ever find her, if they were looking for her.

But one day, somebody opened a paper and said, Bonnie just married Robert Blake. Where does Robert Blake live? And what? A couple of weeks later, she was dead? Now I just want to you to chew on that for a minute with all these facts that you have.

MORGAN: Robert, how are you going to find peace with yourself? Seriously.

BLAKE: I'm not looking for peace.

MORGAN: You must be.


MORGAN: You can't go through life feeling like this.

BLAKE: Absolutely. What?

MORGAN: You can't go through your life feeling like this, surely.

BLAKE: Says who? I'm 79 years old. I've been this way since I was born. I'd argue with a goddamn rock and then try to beat it up. I'm an actor. I'm a performer. I'll give you the greatest line that anybody ever gave me and I hope it takes you away from Bonnie for 30 seconds.

John Garfield, when I was 9 years old, I played John as a boy. And I had a very difficult scene to play. And I couldn't pull it off. I couldn't pull it off. And John Garfield cleared the room and he got the scene out of me. And he said, Robert, remember this for the rest of your life, your life is a rehearsal. Your performance is real.

And there's nobody that can say that more truthfully than me. I have found an audience, when I was 2 years old. And they never left me, no matter what the cops did, no matter what you say, no matter what your friends that you read on the Internet say --

MORGAN: They're not friends.

BLAKE: -- they've never ever, ever left me. Everybody else did -- family, friends, you name it. They all jumped (EXPLETIVE DELETED) ship. But not the fans.

MORGAN: That's the -- BLAKE: And I'm grateful for that.


MORGAN: Next Robert Blake on the Hollywood friends who stood by his side, or rather didn't. And what he said was the greatest moment of his life.



MORGAN: Which of your Hollywood friends stood by you?

BLAKE: I don't have any Hollywood friends. Nobody stood by me.

MORGAN: No one at all?

BLAKE: No. Nobody.

MORGAN: How do you feel about that?

BLAKE: I'm grateful to God that I lived long enough to find out that 98 percent of my personal life was (EXPLETIVE DELETED). I don't think anybody else would have to ever face that, because they're different than me. I constructed a life. I constructed a marriage. I constructed friends. I constructed business associates. But it was all about what I could do for them. My hand was open to them and their hand was in my pocket.

I paid for love, like it says in the book.

(CROSSTALK) MORGAN: Where did you live --

BLAKE: "What I Did for Love."

MORGAN: Where do you live now?

BLAKE: I live in an apartment, I told you. I'm broke. I couldn't buy spats for a hummingbird. I'm broke. But it's OK. I mean I get a little pension. I get a little Social Security. I'm living like --

MORGAN: Do you have any women in your life?

BLAKE: Well, like I told you, I've been on the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) for quite a long time now. I would like to eventually learn some girl's first name, but I'm scared. There's no question that I'm very thin-skinned and I'm frightened. And there's no question -- (EXPLETIVE DELETED), wait a minute.

There's no question that I take things that you say too seriously and too much to heart. And I do misrepresent what people say to me, because I know I'm still hurt. And I may be hurt for the rest of my life. And the only thing that will cure that hurt is if I get back on that bull that bucked me off and ride him.

If I can go out in front of the camera, making the most beautiful film that I ever made, that's all I really want from life. But I'm not a whole person. I've never been a whole person since them son of a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) cops ripped my guts out and left them by the side of the road. And maybe I never will be a whole person.

But I'm enough of a person to execute the one gift that God gave me on the day I was born. I didn't have to learn how to act. When I was 5 years old, I stood on the set and I watched Spencer Tracy and I said, I know exactly what he's doing. I can do that, just like Gene Kelly danced when he was 5 years old. I can do that, like Mozart got up on the piano.

MORGAN: But is that -- is that -- it seems to me the great heartbreak of your life now is that you can't do the one thing that really brought you true love and happiness.

BLAKE: What?

MORGAN: Which was the relationship with an audience and acting.

BLAKE: Who says I can't? I -- this is -- this is my first stint back.

MORGAN: No, no, I'm not saying you --

BLAKE: This is -- look --

MORGAN: I'm not saying you won't in the future. I'm just saying it seems to me that is the one thing you've really been missing.

BLAKE: Hey, understand me clearly. I'm going to do it. I've made money for this town for 75 years. When I go to somebody, whether it's Harvey Weinstein or Donald Duck, I go to them with a package that they can't refuse. Here's the script, here's the money, all you've got to do is get out of the way and let me make you some money.

This book is a calling card. I'm not interested in being an author. I'm not interested in anything except making a beautiful film, the best film I ever made in my life. And I will do it or I'll die in front of the camera while I'm doing it. And you can take that to the bank and collect interest on it, because I've done it since I was 2 years old.

Remember, Charlie -- now I'm not teasing you. You know, it's real simple. In my life, if it ain't magic, it ain't (EXPLETIVE DELETED). All the rest, you know, let somebody else sell peanuts in the stand and spin ropes and do that (EXPLETIVE DELETED). I work on the high wire without a net. That's what I'm comfortable.

Old man Wallenda was one of my heroes. You get on the high wire without a net. You get on a bull and they open that goddamn shoot and there's nobody in the universe but you and God. And that's where I'm comfortable, doing something that's so scary that I can't sleep at night. That's where I'm comfortable. All the rest has been horse (EXPLETIVE DELETED) and gun smoke.

MORGAN: "Tales of A Rascal," Robert Blake, "What I Did for Love." And it is, as I said, it's an extraordinary book. I've never read anything quite like it.

It's been an extraordinary life. It's been an extraordinary interview.


BLAKE: I want to tell you something. It's a one-in-a-lifetime for me, boy. I'm telling you, Piers. It's been a once in a lifetime. I hope I never have to do it again. But it's been a once in a lifetime.

MORGAN: Well, I wish you all the very best.
BLAKE: I know you do.

MORGAN: I really do.

BLAKE: And God bless you for that.

MORGAN: And thank you for coming in.

BLAKE: Thank you.

MORGAN: Robert Blake.



MORGAN: Tonight's "Only in America" features a seemed to be unpredictable, crazy and potentially dangerous event perfectly in keeping with the kind of interview you just witnessed. It starts simple enough -- with a charming vignette. The type you'd see on small fish index all over America this summer. A young woman dangling her bait off the South Carolina coast waiting for a nibble.

The trouble is this isn't just any old nibble. This is about as far removed from a normal little nibble as any fisherman could possibly imagine.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're getting a line. (EXPLETIVE DELETED). Jesus Christ!


MORGAN: A local report says the woman's fiance was filming her at the beach when this shark appeared. Rather like my encounter with Robert Blake but we both feel very fortunate to have emerged unscathed in the experience.

That's all for us tonight. "AC 360" starts now.


  " Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts."  - Daniel Moynihan
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