Former child star Robert Blake had quite a tumultuous life following the death of his wife, Bonny Bakley. This immensely affected his relationship with their then-little daughter, as the duo is only now trying to fix things.
Robert Blake and Bonny Lee Bakley met within the Hollywood sphere in 1999. It had been at a Jazz club, and they connected right from the start. Before being an item with Robert, Bakley was involved with Christian Brando, the son of actor Marlon Brando.
She and Robert started a relationship and, by June 2000, welcomed their first child together, Rose Lenore Blake. The couple tied the knot in the same year. While it was Robert's second marriage, Bakley had been married multiple times.
American actor Robert Blake stands at the Emmy Awards holding a cigarette in Hollywood, California in 1975 | Source: Getty Images
What seemed to be a typical Hollywood family living the American dream took a turn for the worse when Blake found his wife in his car with two gunshot wounds. After the police got involved, their family life plunged into disruption.
When her mother passed on, Rose was 11 months old, barely old enough to have weaned from breastfeeding. During the investigation, Robert shared that he and Bakley were leaving Vitellos' restaurant in California when he remembered leaving a gun on the table.
Actor Robert Blake, hugs his 11-month-old daugther Rose Lenore Sophie Blake, during a brief funeral ceremony of his wife Bonny Lee Bakley in Los Angeles, May 25, 2001 | Source: Getty Images
He stated that he ran back to retrieve the weapon, and when he got back, he saw that his wife had been fatally shot. Robert told the authorities that he contacted 911 via a neighbor's cellphone.
Officers got to work digging into Bakley's relationships and all the men she had been involved with. Ultimately they rounded it up with Robert being the prime suspect.
Amid his trial, their little daughter was adopted by his grown daughter Delinah Blake, who was married. The "In Cold Blood" actor was charged with murder, but he pleaded not guilty.
By the end of his trial, a shocked Robert was discharged and acquitted. The star was said to have openly wept when the judge presiding over his case gave a verdict.
Before the final court judgment, Robert was in jail for one year. He posted a $1.5 million bail to be able to be with his daughter. During "People Magazine Investigates: Price Of Fame" in 2021, Rose opened up about her relationship with her dad.
The young adult recalled when she was little and enjoyed play dates with her dad. It was after this that he went on trial. Amid the turbulence in their family, Rose did not get in touch or keep up with her mother's side of the family. She said of Bakley:
"People have a lot of negative things to say about her and that is really hard to hear. I choose to just focus on the good."
ROBERT'S RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS DAUGHTER AFTER THE MURDER TRIAL
In a 2019 interview, Rose opened up about reconnecting with her dad, whom she called "Robert." She stated that they talked about her childhood. Rose explained:
"We talked about my childhood. We talked about his life, what he's been doing. Just talked about everything."
Rose pointed out that she told her dad she did not want to talk about Bakley because she did not feel ready for the impact. She explained that she had never thought about it. Rose stated about wanting to know someday:
"I feel like anyone would want to know the answer … I think I've gone 19 years not knowing. If all of a sudden I knew whether or not he killed her, that would be shocking."
Growing up, Rose dealt with depression and anxiety. Her life revolved around the mystery of her mom's death, making her an object of media fascination. Although Rose led a private life with her adoptive parents in Sherman Oaks, she once experienced paparazzi in high school.
She recalled being a cheerleader and was photographed by a guy she suspected to be paparazzi during a performance. Although the article was positive, Rose would later see a photo of herself in the news.
When she turned 18, Rose thought it was time she gradually came to terms with the past. She visited Bakley's grave, although she initially had no idea where it was. Rose noted that she was not ready, but once she turned 18, she felt it was the right time.
These days Rose is ready to pursue a career in Hollywood, and she has mentioned that Robert is quite supportive. The youngster resides with her boyfriend and two cats while being happy with her life.
ROBERT SPEAKS OUT YEARS AFTER HIS TRIAL
American actor Robert Blake attends the 18th Annual Golden Boot Awards in Beverly Hills, California, August 5, 2000 | Source: Getty Images
2019 marked 14 years after Robert was acquitted of his wife's death, but the memories remain fresh with him. The "Barett" actor sat in an interview on "20/20," where he launched a tirade against the police system.
Robert spoke of all he went through, noting that he was still standing after everything. The movie star, who was 85 at the time of his interview, has been described as the same angry and determined actor who was sometimes charming.
Actor Robert Blake stars as John List in the CBS television movie, "Judgement Day", which aired on February 23, 1993 | Source: Getty Images
It is noteworthy that despite being acquitted, Blake was charged by Bakley's children with a wrongful death lawsuit. In a civil trial, the jury found him liable for her death, and although Bakley's kids demanded $30 million, this was slashed in half.
The star actor, whose career spanned six decades in Hollywood, got married again, ending in a divorce. Through it all, Robert remains hopeful. He relayed in his interview that he was not giving up.
Actor Robert Blake arrives at Van Nuys Municipal court for a pre-trial hearing in his murder case on September 17, 2004 in Van Nuys, California | Source: Getty Images
The star talked about not giving in to vices, drugs, or "sticking a gun in my mouth." He added that he keeps waiting for God to intervene. He added that the miracles in his life were immeasurable even when compared to someone who lived for 1000 years.
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