LOS ANGELES – Actor Robert Blake (search) says he has a clear conscience after his acquittal on charges he killed his wife, but he also has an empty bank account and owes a fortune in taxes.
Blake's remarks, scheduled to air Wednesday on ABC's "Good Morning America," were from his first television interview since the acquittal. Portions of the interview also aired Tuesday.
Blake told interviewer Barbara Walters the public still is debating his guilt or innocence.
"People right now either love me or hate me," he said. "The other day I went to the farmer's market, and everybody was hugging me and stuff, but there were people on the outside saying, 'Murderer.'"
"Is your conscience clear?" Walters asked.
"Of course it's clear," Blake replied.
Asked about a wrongful death lawsuit filed against him by children of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley (search), Blake said that "they're going to have to stand in a long line" to collect any money.
"Right now, I'm worth a million dollars, and I owe Uncle Sam a million-and-a-half dollars, and I made a deal with him," he said. "I said, 'Uncle Sam, I'm going to pay you 25 grand a month."'
The ex-"Baretta (search)" TV star is scheduled to give a videotaped deposition in the lawsuit April 5. The trial is scheduled to begin July 7.
Bakley was shot twice as she sat in the couple's car in 2001 outside a restaurant where they had just dined. Blake contended that he had gone back inside to retrieve a gun he carried for protection and that some unknown assailant killed his wife in the few minutes he was away.
Bakley was the mother of Blake's young daughter. She had been married several times, had a criminal record for mail fraud and reportedly made a living scamming men out of money with nude pictures of herself and promises of sex.
In part of the interview that aired Tuesday, Blake said he did not know who killed his wife but suggested it could have been "somebody whose father was taken for a ride or something like that."
"She made a lot of enemies," he said.
Jurors acquitted Blake of first-degree murder and one count of solicitation of murder. A judge dismissed a second solicitation charge after jurors deadlocked.
Blake had previously appeared in a separate interview with Walters before his acquittal, claiming he had reason to live for his daughter, Rosie, who is currently in the custody of Blake's adult daughter.
"It's all about Rosie. It's always been about Rosie," Blake said in that interview. "The greatest gift in the world, and I'm going to try to mess it up by being selfish?"