Early 2000 were intense years for on-screen star Robert Blake who faced trial for murdering his wife, Bonnie Lee Bakley. Here is the story surrounding it.
Robert Blake was a reputable actor whose acting prowess was loved by all. He featured in "Beretta," a blockbuster production that made fans unable to keep his name out of their mouths.
At age 71, Blake nearly lost his legacy following a grueling court case concerning the demise of his younger wife, Bonnie Lee Bakley. In March 2005, in Los Angeles, a jury acquitted him of his wife's murder.
American actor Robert Blake stands at the Emmy Awards holding a cigarette in Hollywood, California in 1975 | Photo: Getty Images
The actor had been in and out of the courthouse for three months before the verdict. Alas, the jury which was made up of seven men and five women decided that he was not the murderer they were looking for.
The initial allegation was that Blake solicited a former stunt double whom he met on "Baretta" to kill his wife. Judge Darlene Schempp dismissed the charge and declared that the accused be given his passport and $1.5 million bail.
Robert Blake speaks to reporters outside the courthouse as he arrives for a pre-trial hearing in Van Nuys, California on December 6, 2004 | Photo: Getty Images
Movie fanatics from the 90s and early 2000s would not be quick to forget the story of Blake's wife, who met her untimely death in the hands of an unidentified shooter.
Growing up was a bit tough, as she battled with depression and anxiety.
Publicity photo of Robert Blake from the television program "Baretta" | Photo: Wikimedia Commons Images
Bakley was 44 when she died after sustaining a head injury from a gunshot while sitting in an automobile parked in front of Studio City restaurant, where she and the actor had dinner.
At the time of the tragedy, the "Baretta" star had gone into the restaurant where they ate to grab his firearm that was left behind absentmindedly.
While the tabloids ran stories revealing Blake's innocence, they quickly gathered details about the type of life his deceased wife lived. Bakley was a woman who boldly expressed her love for attention.
She was easily defined as a "gold digger" because she made her intentions of marrying a celebrity known to her friends. She also recruited wealthy men by sending nude images of herself.
The deceased had about ten failed marriages, and a couple of lovers in the past, before meeting Blake in 1999 at a Los Angeles jazz club.
The duo wasted no time becoming intimate, and a year after their first meeting, their only child and daughter Rose Lenore was born. That same year, they exchanged their marital vows.
Sources confirmed that the union was short of love. Witnesses testified that Blake often complained about his wife and commented that he wanted her out of the way.
When the trial began, Lenore was an 11-month-old baby; still, the story changed her life and that of her family. She was adopted by Blake's daughter from a previous relationship.
Growing up was a bit tough, as she battled with depression and anxiety. However, when Lenore reached adulthood, she acknowledged that the deed had been done.
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