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Blake blasts media, says he's 'deeply saddened' by wife's killing

Blake told King that the media are "out to get everybody -- anybody above the ground, they'll cook and eat."
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A Larry King exclusive: Robert Blake tells all.

Actor Robert Blake's real life crime drama ends with an acquittal.

The actor acquitted of murdering his wife addresses reporters.
Robert Blake

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Actor Robert Blake said he always will be "sorry and deeply saddened" by the slaying of his wife and lashed out at the news media in a CNN interview Monday night.

Blake was acquitted in March of killing Bonny Lee Bakley, his wife, with whom he had an infant daughter at the time of the 2001 slaying.

"I will always be sorry and deeply saddened for what happened to Bonny," Blake said. "And I will always be deeply grateful to Bonny for Rosie. And I hope I will do well for the rest of my life, for the gift that God and Bonny have given me."

During an hourlong, sometimes profane interview, Blake praised his lawyers, the jury that acquitted him and the people who wrote to him while in jail. He said he bears no ill will toward Bakley's family or the media, but he blasted unnamed "everybody" who fed reporters stories about the case.

He mocked reporters in an imaginary exchange with King: "Now, mind you, sir, we have four people that have testified -- and we have written statements from them -- that when you were in college, you had sex with an elephant. Now, we're running this story. I'm giving you an opportunity to square matters here, but I'm asking you the question. How many elephants did you screw? And who did you tell about it?"

The 72-year-old actor, who got his start in the Depression-era "Our Gang" comedies, said he "had to really grow up" during that period, "and I was surprised at who my friends were and who they weren't."

He said he held "a lot of anger for the media" for a long time before he realized "they're out to get everybody -- anybody above the ground, they'll cook and eat."

"There's a whole litter of lunatics out there, pig-face bags of rat guts that are telling all kinds of lies, and the media's soaking it up," Blake said.

The star of "Baretta" and "In Cold Blood" said he is now broke, owes large amounts of back taxes and faces a civil suit from the family of his slain wife. He said he offered to settle the case for $250,000, but there was no response to his offer. Due to lawyers' fees, the offer is now $150,000, he said.

Blake married Bakley in November 2000, after DNA tests indicated he was the father of her child. Prosecutors said Blake felt Bakley, 44, had tricked him into marriage, and that he hated her so much he would do anything to keep her away from the child.

But jurors said they could not believe the prosecution's key witnesses and considered the circumstantial evidence flimsy.

Blake said his daughter, now 4, was being raised by his other daughter and her family.

"I'm a better grandfather," he said. "I get to have all the gravy, but I don't have to get up at three in the morning. Rosie and I spend a lot of time together, and it's all good time. And that's probably the best contribution that I could make to her life."

From the early days of the investigation, Blake's lawyers tried to suggest that someone from Bakley's past was responsible for her death. Blake refused to speculate on who might have killed his wife, saying, "Do you want me to really go into Bonny's past so people can accuse me of trashing her?

"It's been four years, and I don't have the answers ... She had an awkward, interesting, different kind of life," he said. "There were a lot of things that she told me. But I don't know."

Asked whether he thought the killer would ever be caught, he said, "Somebody may rat somebody out in that kind of world. I don't know."

He said he has received offers to work again, but he has spent a lot of time driving around the Southwest.

"I'm not good right now at staying put, or making engagements, or appointments, because all I do is hurt people's feelings. I'm here because I had some things I wanted to say. But most of the time, I'm out letting the wind blow in my hair."

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