LOS ANGELES – Robert Blake (search) considered his second marriage "a big mess" and made threatening remarks over the phone when he was dating Bonny Lee Bakley (search), according to two witnesses at the actor's murder trial.
Blake's first wife and Bakley's adult daughter each testified Thursday about the actor's troubled relationship with Bakley before she was killed in May 2001.
Sondra Blake Kerr, who was married to Blake for 20 years, said he told her during a chance meeting in January 2001 that his marriage to Bakley was "all smoke and mirrors."
"I gave him a hug and said, 'Congratulations on your marriage and the new baby,'" Kerr told jurors.
She said his response was, "Yeah, yeah."
"I said again, 'Gosh, a new baby,'" she recalled.
"And did he do something?" asked Deputy District Attorney Shellie Samuels.
"He grabbed me by the wrist and said, 'The baby's real but the marriage isn't,'" she said. "He pushed me up against the wall and said, 'The marriage is all smoke and mirrors.' ... He said it was a big mess."
Bakley, 44, was shot to death in a car outside a restaurant where she and Blake dined. Blake said he returned briefly to the restaurant to retrieve a gun he carried for protection and when he returned he found Bakley mortally wounded.
Blake, 71, is charged with killing Bakley, whom he married after learning he had fathered her child.
Blake's lawyer did not cross-examine Kerr, but he did questioned Bakley's adult daughter, Holly Gawron. Gawron, 24, acknowledged that her mother was trying to get pregnant when she was dating Blake.
Gawron said Bakley asked for her help with "a fertilization monitor."
"Your mother was trying to get pregnant?" asked defense attorney M. Gerald Schwartzbach.
"Obviously," said Gawron.
Gawron also acknowledged that she worked in Bakley's mail order business. Others have testified that Bakley scammed men out of money with promises of sex, sending them nude pictures of herself.
Earlier in the day, Gawron told the jury that she heard Blake verbally abuse her mother.
While living in Arkansas with Bakley, Gawron said she sometimes answered the phone and heard Blake "yelling, cursing obscenities" when he thought he was talking to Bakley.