Actor Robert Blake is aiming for an out-of-court settlement with the family
of his murdered wife to avoid a civil trial into her wrongful death.
The BARETTA star was found not guilty on 16 March (05) of murdering wife
Bonny Lee Bakley in a car outside a Los Angeles restaurant they had just dined
in. In the upcoming civil case Blake is accused of killing his wife alongside
Lawyers for both sides are keen to reach a mutual agreement and are due to
meet in the next few days to discuss Blake's finances.
Blake's lawyer M GERALD SCHWARTZBACH has told Bakley family attorney ERIC
DUBIN not to expect a huge payout as his client is in tax debt.
However, Dubin is convinced Blake is just as interested in avoiding bad
publicity, as OJ Simpson was shunned when he was found innocent of killing his
wife and her friend, but later lost a $33.5 million (GBP18 million) civil
Dubin says, "Robert Blake realises the importance to his future acting
prospects of not being proven a murderer in a court of law. He also wants to
avoid the stigma that OJ Simpson got after his civil conviction."
But defence lawyer Schwartzbach says, "It's not a matter of being afraid.
Mr Blake has essentially represented what his financial status is, and it seems
to me that if he can put this chapter behind him, anyone would want to do
"His clients' best interest of ever getting any money is best served by
good faith discussions now."
Should a settlement not be reached, the civil trial is scheduled to begin
on 7 July (05).