LOS ANGELES – Robert Blake has filed for bankruptcy, 2 1/2 months after a civil court jury found he "intentionally caused" his wife's death and awarded her children $30 million in damages.
Blake was acquitted in March in criminal court of murdering Bonny Lee Bakley. In Friday's filing, he listed his biggest liabilities as the $30 million judgment, a $1,274,783 million federal tax bill and a $334,337 state tax assessment. The filing says he has assets of $100,001 and $500,000.
Blake's civil attorney, Peter Ezzell, said he believes the former tough-guy actor is broke. "Otherwise, I wouldn't have written off $200,000 in fees," he said.
Ezzell said he capped his legal fees at $250,000 plus costs. The former "Baretta" star's bankruptcy filing indicates he owes the attorney $7,903.
But Eric Dubin, the attorney who represented Bakley's family in the civil trial, questioned whether Blake is financially destitute.
"The concept of Robert Blake doing everything he can to avoid paying was highly anticipated," Dubin said. "And we're ready for it."
Dubin said Blake sold two homes in recent years. He declined to say what he thinks Blake is worth but said the actor spread his assets around in numerous corporations.
Private investigator Scott Ross, who helped with Blake's criminal defense, said Blake lives off his pension.
Blake rents an apartment in the San Fernando Valley, said his longtime friend, publicist Dale Olson. Blake's adult daughter adopted Rosie, the now 5-year-old girl he had with Bakley.
Ezzell said he plans to file a motion for a new trial in the civil case. He has not done so because the judge who presided over the trial became ill soon after the verdict and has not affirmed or signed the jury's judgment.