During his second day of testimony in a wrongful death lawsuit, actor Robert Blake acknowledged he may have said disparaging things about his wife before she was shot to death.
But he said he never asked anyone to kill her.
“I could easily have been venting and saying things,” Blake testified. “When I’m angry, I run my mouth.”
Blake testified in the suit brought by the family of Bonny Lee Bakley. After a criminal trial earlier this year, the star of the old “Baretta” television series was acquitted of murdering Bakley. He did not testify during that trial.
Superior Court Judge David Schacter ruled that testimony from Blake’s criminal trial was irrelevant in the current suit, but he allowed Bakley family attorney Eric Dubin to introduce excerpts of testimony during the trial by a witness who has not appeared in the civil trial.
The witness, New York actor Frank Minucci, claimed Blake discussed killing Bakley with him.
Dubin asked Blake, “In any way, shape or form did you discuss whacking Bonnie Lee Bakley with Frank Minucci?”
“No!” Blake replied.
Dubin also read to Blake from depositions given before the civil trial. Blake recalled making some of his statements but said others were not familiar.
Blake has been combative during much of the questioning by Dubin that began last Thursday. At one point Monday, he and Dubin were waving their arms at each other.
The behavior prompted the judge to comment, “Now we’ve had the B-movie version.”
Bakley’s children are suing Blake, saying he was responsible for their 44-year-old mother’s death in May 2001. She was killed as she sat in Blake’s car outside a restaurant where they had just had dinner.
Much of the questioning of Blake focused on his 5-year-old daughter, Rosie, who was conceived by Bakley and is named as one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. The girl is being raised by Blake’s adult daughter, Delinah.
Blake acknowledged he had a written agreement to marry Bakley after a DNA test showed the child was his.
“Was the reason you married Bonny Lee Bakley to get custody of Rosie Blake?” Dubin asked about the couple’s young daughter.
“No,” Blake answered.
He recalled saying of Bakley, “We got married to get to know each other and see if we could make it together.”