Blake Begs Judge To Ignore Civil Verdict
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.