Tapes provide inside look at victim’s celebrity quest
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Robert Blake’s slain wife once talked with a friend about whether she would be better off claiming that Blake or Christian Brando was the father of her newborn daughter, according to tapes released Monday by Blake’s lawyer.
”Who would you go for more if you were me – Blake or Christian?” Bonny Bakley said in a telephone conversation recorded before her marriage to the actor. ”I’d probably feel more safe with Blake.”
A man identified only as Ray advises her: ”Blake ain’t gonna let you hustle him. Blake’s too slick.”
”You think Blake is like a genius?” Bakley asks.
”I think he’s hip. You ain’t gonna get a dime out of him…. He’s not a dummy. I think he’s going to use you more than you use him.”
”What would he use me for?” asks Bakley.
Bakley, who married Blake four months ago and was the mother of his 11-month-old baby, was shot May 4 as she sat in his parked car after the couple dined at a Studio City restaurant.
Police have said no one has been ruled out as a suspect.
Authorities refused to comment Monday on a report by ABC News’ ”Good Morning America” that the murder gun was found in a trash bin near the murder site. Blake’s attorney, Harland Braun, said he was not surprised by the report because ”a hit man always discards a gun.”
The tapes, which were found among Bakley’s belongings, offer insight into a woman friends and relatives say was obsessed with celebrity.
On the tapes, the baby is heard gurgling in the background as Bakley muses, ”I don’t know if the baby is going to work for or against me.” She said some men don’t like ”a kid squalling around” and said Brando might not like having a baby because ”they get on your nerves.”
”Is it really his baby?” the friend asks, referring to Brando, the son of actor Marlon Brando.
”Yeah,” Bakley said.
”Are you certain?”
Bakley attorney Cary Goldstein, appearing Monday on NBC-TV’s ”Today Show,” said it was ”disgraceful” for Braun to malign his client in what he called an attempt to ”taint the jury pool.”
”Before Lee Bonny’s body was even cold, here’s Mr. Blake through his attorney trashing her on the national media, pulling skeletons out of the closet about her past,” Goldstein said.
In another phone conversation, Bakley talks about her involvement with Blake: ”I thought he was cute when he was younger but I didn’t know if I wanted him for the rest of his life. He’s going to get older and worse looking.”
Her friend asks: ”Bonny, did you ever try to figure out why you’re attracted only to famous people?”
”It’s because I wanted to be that myself,” she says, describing herself as a one-time outcast among her schoolmates because she was poor and didn’t dress well.
”You think, ‘I’ll show them. I’ll become a movie star,”’ she says. ”But it’s too hard…. If I’d kept romance out of my life it would have been possible. But I would have had to be like Katharine Hepburn and it was too hard. I kept falling for somebody.
”So I thought, why not fall for a movie star instead of being one. It’s more fun. I like being around celebrities. It makes you feel better than other people.”
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