Police Seek Tapes of Blake Allegedly Coercing Slain Wife to Get Abortion
LOS ANGELES – Police asked a tabloid newspaper Monday to turn over tape recordings of actor Robert Blake allegedly pressuring wife Bonny Lee Bakley to get an abortion and accusing her of trapping him by getting pregnant.
Detectives investigating the May 4 slaying of the actor's wife were interviewing a member of Bakley's family when they learned of tapes and documents the family had given to The National Enquirer, police Lt. Horace Frank said.
"The LAPD has asked us for the tapes, and we will cooperate fully with them," said Steve Coz, editor-in-chief of the Florida-based publication. He said the Enquirer did not pay for the tapes.
The tabloid's current issue says Bakley made the tapes early last year of her phone conversations with the former star of TV's Baretta.
It said the tapes depict Blake demanding that she get an abortion and accusing her of lying to him about using birth control in order to trap him into marriage.
"You lied to me, you double-crossed me, you double-dealt me and that's who you are," the Enquirer quotes Blake as saying on the tapes.
At another point, Blake reportedly says, "If that's the way you can live and you can live with yourself doing stuff like that, it's gonna come down on you."
The Enquirer says Bakley replied: "All I wanted is to be with you. I didn't know there was anything wrong."
She resists the suggestion she should get an abortion and at one point suggests she could send the baby to live with her mother, according to the Enquirer.
Blake's lawyer, Harland Braun, said he had not heard the tapes but doesn't doubt that they are authentic.
"The tapes are probably pretty consistent with what they were talking about at the time," Braun said.
Braun said Blake insists he didn't have anything to do with the murder.
"He has a motive, but so do a lot of other people," Braun said. "Robert said to me a few days ago, 'As long as the police don't try to fabricate evidence, I have nothing to worry about."'
Braun has said that Bakley was a swindler who defrauded many men out of money with promises of sex and nude photos.
Bakley was shot in Studio City as she waited in Blake's car for him to return from a restaurant where they had just had dinner. The actor told police he returned to the restaurant to retrieve a handgun he had been carrying to protect his wife.
Police have made no arrests and have sealed all documents related to the case.
Braun previously released tapes he had obtained of Bakley seeking a friend's advice on her plan to claim that her baby was fathered either by Blake or by Christian Brando, son of actor Marlon Brando.
After the birth of the baby girl June 2, DNA tests confirmed Blake was the father and last November he married Bakley.
Braun said Bakley taped all her phone conversations and suggested that Blake also may have taped some of their talks.
"There are tapes between Bonny and Robert that he made," said Braun, adding he did not have them and hadn't heard them.