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Robert Blake Settles Wrongful Death Lawsuit With Late Wife's Kids


Robert Blake BONNIE LEE BAKLEY

Actor Robert Blake has settled his ongoing legal battle with the children of his late wife BONNIE LEE BAKLEY.

The former Baretta star was accused of killing his partner in 2001 after she was fatally shot in his parked car outside a Los Angeles restaurant, but he was acquitted of charges including murder and conspiracy in 2005.

Bakley's eldest children filed a civil lawsuit against the actor for wrongful death, ordering Blake to pay them $30 million (£18.8 million) in damages, but the sum was cut in half by an appeals court in 2008.

Continue reading: Robert Blake Settles Wrongful Death Lawsuit With Late Wife's Kids

Robert Blake Hits Out At Piers Morgan In Explosive Tv Interview


Robert Blake Piers Morgan BONNIE LEE BAKLEY

Robert Blake erupted with fury during a TV interview on Wednesday (11Jul12) as Piers Morgan quizzed him about his wife BONNIE LEE BAKLEY's murder in 2001.

The In Cold Blood star, who was tried and acquitted of the killing in 2005, grew visibly annoyed when the broadcaster asked about the nature of his relationship with Bakley before she was shot dead.

Blake ranted, "Where are you going (with this line of questioning)? No, you're not interested. What are you doing? What the hell are you doing?"

Morgan continued to probe him about Bakley, prompting the actor to retort, "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... Why would I marry her if I was going to kill her?

Continue reading: Robert Blake Hits Out At Piers Morgan In Explosive Tv Interview

Blake Appeals Wrongful Death Verdict


Robert Blake BONNIE LEE BAKLEY ERIC DUBIN

LATEST: Veteran actor Robert Blake has appealed a $30 million (GBP15.4 million) wrongful death verdict, alleging jurors acted inappropriately during the civil trial.
The former BARETTA star was acquitted in 2005 of killing wife BONNIE LEE BAKLEY, but a civil jury a few months later decided he intentionally caused her death and awarded her family the multi-million dollar compensation.
However, Blake's attorney M. GERALD SCHWARTZBACH, presented a 55-page appeal in California 2nd District Court of Appeal yesterday (28FEB07) claiming jurors discussed O.J. SIMPSON, ignored the lack of evidence that Blake killed his wife and decided to "send a message that celebrities and rich people cannot get away with murder".
Schwartzbach also maintains a juror who had a hearing impairment and said he missed most of the testimony was prodded into voting for the verdict by other panelists, who warned he would force a mistrial if he didn't agree with them.
Although Blake has filed for bankruptcy and is unlikely to pay the award, Schwartzbach is pressing for the verdict to be reversed to preserve the actor's reputation.
Plaintiffs' lawyer ERIC DUBIN said Blake's appeal was clearly an attempt to delay paying the judgment.
Bakley was shot to death as she sat in Blake's car outside a restaurant where the two had just dined in May 2001. Blake told police he had left her alone briefly while he retrieved a gun he had accidentally left behind in the restaurant.

Officer In Blake Murder Case Investigated


Robert Blake BONNIE LEE BAKLEY Marlon Brando

The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating allegations its lead investigator in the Robert Blake murder case withheld evidence from the defence.
The complaint was filed by M GERALD SCHWARTZBACH, who helped get Blake acquitted in a criminal trial, and ALLAN FIEBELKORN, a car dealer manager who testified at Blake's civil trial.
The former BARETTA star was acquitted in 2005 of killing wife BONNIE LEE BAKLEY, but a civil jury found that he intentionally caused her death and awarded her family $30 million (GBP15 million).
Bakley was fatally shot in 2001 outside a restaurant after dining with Blake.
The claim against lead investigator, Detective RON ITO, alleges he did not adequately investigate the link between two ex-stuntmen, who said Blake asked them to commit the crime, and CHRISTIAN BRANDO, who had an affair with Bakley.
It also alleges that Ito failed to tell the defence that one stuntman had used methamphetamines and that the other had been in a mental ward.
Brando, the son of Marlon Brando, has denied any involvement in the murder.

Blake To Appeal Civil Verdict


Robert Blake BONNIE LEE BAKLEY

LATEST: Actor Robert Blake is to appeal the wrongful-death verdict by a civil jury who awarded the family of his murdered wife millions of dollars in damages. The notice, filed on Monday (08MAY06), alleged juror misconduct in the court case last November (05) which saw the BARETTA star slapped with a GBP30 million (GBP17 million) bill to late wife BONNIE LEE BAKLEY's children. Blake's lawyer M GERALD SCHWARTZBACH, who saw his client acquitted of murder at a criminal trial earlier last year (05), claims details of the civil case were discussed before all the evidence was presented to the jury. He tells news agency Associated Press, "There's no question in my mind that Robert was denied a fair trial because of egregious juror misconduct and rulings by the trial. "I believe that once the court of appeals has the opportunity to look at the record, the judgment will be set aside." Bakley was found shot dead in the actor's car in May 2001, outside a Studio City, California, restaurant where the couple had just dined. Blake recently filed for bankruptcy, insisting his assets were depleted by the legal cases leaving him unable to pay back taxes or other debts.

Blake Jurors Deny Misconduct


Robert Blake BONNIE LEE BAKLEY

LATEST: Jurors who found Robert Blake "intentionally caused" the death of his wife in a civil trial last year (05) have defended themselves against misconduct accusations from the actor. In a motion filed in Los Angeles last week (ends31MAR06), the BARETTA star's defence team claimed one juror failed to disclose that her daughter was in prison for murder, while others disregarded instructions from the judge. It is also alleged that the jury found Blake liable for the 2001 death of his wife BONNIE LEE BAKLEY in order to send a message to celebrities. However, in statements submitted on Monday (03APR06) five jurors and two alternates argue there is no evidence of a concealed bias and they contend the trial was fair. A Superior Court judge will hear arguments on Blake's motion for a new trial on Friday (07APR06). Bakley was found shot dead in the actor's car in May 2001, outside a Studio City, California, restaurant where the pair had just dined. Blake was acquitted in a criminal court of her murder in 2005, but a civil case later that year found him liable.

Blake Lawyers Want New Trial Over Jury 'Misconduct'


Robert Blake BONNIE LEE BAKLEY

Robert Blake's lawyers yesterday (27MAR06) asked for a new trial, alleging jury misconduct in last year's (05) civil court case which found the actor "intentionally caused" the death of his wife. In a new motion filed in Los Angeles, the BARETTA star's defence team claim one juror failed to disclose that her daughter was in prison for murder, while others disregarded instructions from the judge. It is also alleged that the jury found Blake liable for the 2001 death of his wife BONNIE LEE BAKLEY in order to send a message to celebrities. The jury also discussed details relating to Blake's criminal trial in March 2005, in which he was acquitted of murdering Bakley, which the lawyers claim had no relevance to his civil trial. In November (05), a civil court ordered to Blake to pay $30 million (GBP17.6 million) in damages to Bakley's children. He then filed for bankruptcy.

Blake Reveals Financial Woes In Court


Robert Blake BONNIE LEE BAKLEY

LATEST: Actor Robert Blake has spoken out about his financial hardship in court, revealing he can't afford to pay his taxes or settle damages. The struggling star insisted he'd spent so much money defending himself against a murder charge in his wife BONNIE LEE BAKLEY's death, he has landed in serious difficulties with creditors. Despite his acquittal of Bakley's murder at an earlier criminal trial in March 2005, the BARETTA actor was found liable for her 2001 death by a civil jury later that year and ordered to pay her children $30 million (GBP16.6 million) in damages. He also owes his criminal defence lawyers $450,000 (265,000) each for their services. Addressing a bankruptcy trustee on Friday (24MAR06) he said, "When I realised my assets were less than what I owed, it became clear to me that in my best interest I should file Chapter 11." The hearing was recessed until late May (06). Bakley was shot dead in the actor's car outside a restaurant where the couple had dined.

Blake Plans Acting Comeback


Robert Blake BONNIE LEE BAKLEY Michael James Gubitosi

BARETTA star Robert Blake is planning an acting comeback, one year after he was acquitted of murdering his wife BONNIE LEE BAKLEY. The 72-year-old actor, real name Michael James Gubitosi, was arrested one year after his wife was found shot to death in their car in May 2001, close to a Studio City, California restaurant where they had just dined. But the 1970s TV star, who is currently working as a stable-hand for friends, claims he is ready to take on the world once again. He says, "I want to live. I've woken up some nights and wanted to drive till the car goes off a cliff. "And an hour later, poetry is coming to me. I want to go act. I want to go teach. I want to dance. "I can be an actor no matter what happens. I was in the middle of a job when my father committed suicide and I went to work the next day." Blake pleaded not guilty to the charges, telling police he had returned to Vitello's Italian restaurant to collect a gun he had left at the table when Bakley was shot outside. He was forced to declare bankruptcy in 2005 when a court asked him to pay his wife's family $30 million (GBP17.6 million) damages in a civil suit.

Blake Begs Judge To Ignore Civil Verdict


Robert Blake BONNIE LEE BAKLEY DAVID SCHACTER

Actor Robert Blake has pleaded with a Los Angeles bankruptcy judge to ignore last year's (05) civil court case which found he "intentionally caused" the death of his wife. Despite his acquittal of BONNIE LEE BAKLEY's murder at an earlier criminal trial in March 2005, the BARETTA star was found liable for her death by a civil jury later that year. As a result, he was ordered to pay her children $30 million (GBP16.6 million) in damages - making up a large proportion of the debts he cited when filing for bankruptcy. But the actor has insisted that the civil verdict, and hence the damages he was slapped with, came after he declared himself broke - because the civil court judge was ill following his November (05) trial and so entered the judgement seven days after Blake had filed for bankruptcy. His lawyer maintains this should negate the court ruling and multi-million dollar bill. He has called for a new trial "as a precaution and under protest", contending his client is unable to cover the damages ordered by the first. However, the Bakley family has resisted the move, insisting Blake has enough assets hidden elsewhere to foot the bill. Their attorney ERIC DUBIN says, "We're being very aggressive and we anticipated this. We have help now in locating his assets." Judge DAVID SCHACTER will consider the motion for a new trial next month (APR06). Blake is due in bankruptcy court on 22 March (06) for a hearing that may decide which court has jurisdiction.

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