Testimony of Blake's First Wife Detailed

The first wife of actor Robert Blake (search) claims in a court deposition that the actor tried to have her killed after the couple separated.

Sondra Kerr Blake (search) gave her deposition in May in a Los Angeles attorney's office as part of a wrongful-death lawsuit brought against the actor in the shooting death of his second wife. He was acquitted in March of Bonnie Lee Bakley's slaying.

Details of the deposition were first reported Wednesday in the New York Daily News.

The woman, who was married to Blake more than 20 years, testified that several people told her in the mid-1970s the actor took out a "contract" to kill her and her boyfriend.

Blake planned to blame the killings on followers of mass murderer Charles Manson, his ex-wife testified.

"He had put a contract out on me and the other man that I was seeing at the time," the transcript of Kerr Blake's testimony quoted her as saying.

Blake's attorney, Peter Ezzell, did not immediately return a message left Wednesday.

The deposition is part of a civil case filed against Blake by Bakley's four children. The 71-year-old "Baretta" star was found not guilty of charges of murder and solicitation in the 2001 shooting death.

Kerr Blake testified at Blake's criminal case, but never mentioned the alleged murder contract.

She testified in the civil case that she was told Blake wanted her and her then-boyfriend, actor Steve Railsback, killed in the Beverly Hills mansion where Manson's followers had killed actress Sharon Tate and four others in 1969.

At the time, Kerr Blake and Railsback were filming the 1976 television movie "Helter Skelter" about Manson and his band of killers.

By having her and Railsback killed at the estate, Blake hoped to make their deaths look like retribution for making the film, Kerr Blake testified. She played an inmate in the movie and Railsback starred as Manson.

Kerr Blake testified that she was told of Blake's plans by director Bernard Kowalski and his wife, Helen, and also by a friend of Blake's manager at the time. She said she never asked them how they learned of the plot.