Actor Robert Blake took a break from his murder trial Monday to fondly recall Johnny Carson, saying that the former late-night television king stood by him when he was arrested on charges of killing his wife.
“He was personally responsible for a great many wonderful things that happened in my life, the “Baretta” star told reporters outside the Van Nuys courthouse where he is on trial in the May 4, 2001, shooting death of wife Bonny Lee Bakley.
“When I was arrested, he was the very first person who came out and spoke in my behalf,” Blake said.
“(Carson) had a maternal, paternal quality that just brought out the best in anyone he was around,” Blake said. “You thought you were bright, interesting and funny and when you left you felt like: I wish I saw what he saw. I wish I could feel this way all the time. Because he just went right straight to the heart and made you think great things about yourself.”
The remarks were Blake’s first public statement since he went on trial a month ago for the murder of Bakley, 44. Prosecutors say he killed her to gain custody of their daughter.
Defense lawyers say police focused on Blake because of his celebrity and have no evidence against him.