Actor Robert Blake, who was acquitted earlier this year of murdering his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, told a civil damages trial Thursday that he loved her, never harmed her and even tried to get her to see the errors of her ways.
Testifying in a wrongful death civil trial brought by the 44-year-old Bakley’s children, Blake denied hiring anyone to shoot her to death on May 4, 2001, and denied pulling the trigger himself.
“I loved Bonny, and I always prayed that God would sneak in there and get a little light in her life,” the 72-year-old former star of the “Baretta” television series said as he described trying to get Bakley to give up running a lonely hearts scam.
Blake added that he once had been addicted to pain medication and was helped by a 12-step program that he thought could also help Bakley.
The actor said he met Bakley at a restaurant and had sex with her that night. “There aren’t many women that will simply just sleep with you and get on the bus, if you know what I mean,” Blake said.
He described her as talkative, cunning, smart and charming and added, “She could get a rock to follow her down the road if she wanted to. She could charm the eyes out of a rattlesnake.”
In testimony Wednesday, Blake said he and Bakley were planning a life together so they could raise their now 5-year-old daughter, Rose. At his murder trial, prosecutors alleged that he killed her to prevent her from raising the daughter because he feared how the girl would be treated by a person he considered to be a scam artist.
Bakley was found shot to death while in a car parked near a restaurant where the couple had dinner. Blake said he had gone back to the restaurant to retrieve a gun that he had left behind.