Blake was 'laughing' with wife on night of murder
A witness in the Robert Blake murder trial claims the actor was laughing and smiling as he dined with his wife the night she was killed. Bonny Lee Bakley was shot on May 4, 2001, after eating at Vitello's restaurant in California. After the meal, Blake maintains he left Bakley in their car while he returned to the eatery to retrieve a handgun he carried for protection and returned to find her bleeding. Vitello's co-owner Joe Restivo told the Los Angeles court last Wednesday that he recalled Blake returning in distress and looking for a doctor - but that he did not retrieve his firearm. Restivo says, "He was out of it. He was in hysterics. He was saying, 'We need help', or 'Somebody hurt my lady'." However, Restivo admits he was busy that night preparing takeaway orders for customers. Prosecutors claim Blake killed his wife because he wanted sole custody of their daughter. The trial has been recessed until Jan. 4.
Stiller loves wife's lesbian kiss
Ben Stiller's most enjoyable moment in 2004 came when his actress wife performed a lesbian kiss in comedy movie Dodgeball. The Hollywood funnyman was left thrilled watching spouse Christine Taylor smooch with Scarlett Chorvat in the highly-charged sequence. Stiller says, "I loved the scene. What red-blooded man would not want to see that sort of action?"
DiCaprio unfazed by onscreen nudity
Leonardo DiCaprio remains unfazed by onscreen nudity, despite spending days being filmed naked for his latest movie. DiCaprio's role as Howard Hughes in The Aviator required him to strip off for a series of love scenes, most of which ended up on the cutting room floor. But being naked didn't bother DiCaprio: "I didn't think about the nudity that much. There was a lot more naked stuff in the movie that they didn't show. I was nude for a good couple of days being filmed."
Eastwood: 'only young actors need apply'
Clint Eastwood has dashed the hopes of thousands of twenty-something actors, after announcing he won't be casting anyone over the age of 26 in his new movie. The Oscar-winning director is determined to maintain historical authenticity when he casts World War Two epic Flags of Our Fathers, about the men who raised the flag at Iwo Jima, early next year. Eastwood, 75, explains, "The average age of most of these fellows at that stage was 19, so in casting, I'll try to be very accurate about that. The oldest amongst them was 26, in fact, they call him the old man, so if he's old at 26, well..."
Hopkins set for music career in 2005
Anthony Hopkins is to embark on a music career after spending the past eight months composing songs on his piano. The Oscar-winning actor doubles as a talented pianist and hopes to have his compositions performed in 2005--firstly in America, then at London's famous Royal Albert Hall venue, where Hopkins plans to conduct an orchestra and choir. A source says, "Anthony has played the piano for a long time, and takes music very seriously, but in the past it has been a hobby. "Now he wants to concentrate on music, and is confident enough to put on a concert of his own work."
Schiffer hires Nepalese fighters
Supermodel Claudia Schiffer and husband Matthew Vaughn have hired five former British Army Gurkhas to help protect their $9 million English mansion. The German-born beauty and Layer Cake director Vaughn, who have been targeted by two stalkers this year, are strong supporters of the brave Nepalese fighters and are urging pals Madonna and Guy Ritchie to employ them as well. Vaughn explains, "The Gurkhas are among the most hard-working, loyal and skilled people I have ever come across. We are delighted to give them jobs."
Ferguson warns of child obesity
British royal Sarah Ferguson has warned the British government to wake up to the child-obesity problem facing the country. The Duchess of York, who earns $1.8 million each year as spokesperson for Weight Watchers in America, yesterday called for everyone to acknowledge the UK's fat epidemic. Ferguson says, "It's time for everyone to wake up to the fact that this obesity situation is not a diet, it's not about whether you are fitting into a pair of blue jeans. "The Government is going to have major health care problems if they don't realize they could have a lost generation because of the different diseases stemming from overweight."
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Like many other nights, actor Robert Blake went out to dinner Friday at Vitello's, an Italian restaurant in Studio City, Calif. His wife, Bonny Bakley, accompanied him. After finishing their meal, the couple got into their car but Blake went back to the restaurant to retrieve something that he had left behind. The 67-year-old actor returned to his car to find his wife had been shot in the forehead, according to police.
Police investigators are treating Bakley's shooting as a homicide and have ruled out the Baretta star as a suspect.
The investigation is still in its preliminary stages, police said Monday. No suspects have been identified and that the motive for the crime has not been established. Blake has hired a private investigator to track down his wife's killer.
"The police didn't really have a chance to understand her background," Harland Braun, Blake's attorney, told Reuters. "So there might be a clue that we can find that they didn't."
Blake left his wife alone in the car so he could retrieve a gun he had left behind at the restaurant, Braun told Reuters. Blake owns numerous weapons and has a permit to carry a concealed gun, police said. Blake told police that he was carrying a gun because he feared for his wife's safety.
Vitello's restaurant co-owner Joe Restivo told CNN that Blake appeared flustered when he returned to the restaurant and asked for two glasses of water, which he drank. Restivo did not recall Blake retrieving any items from the restaurant.
Calls to Vitello's restaurant on Monday went unanswered.
After finding his wounded wife in the car, Blake walked to the house of film director Sean Stanek, who lived across the street, CNN reported. They called 911. Paramedics rushed to the scene minutes later. Bakley, 45, was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.
Police ruled out Blake as a suspect after interrogating him for nearly five hours and searching his home.
"They [police] have taken routine tests from his clothing and his hands, which all came back negative," Braun told Reuters.
Police recovered two 9mm handguns and seized phone records and other paperwork from Blake's house on Saturday, according to The Associated Press.
Braun was unavailable Monday for comment.
Bakley's friends and family described her to the Los Angeles Times as a woman who had occasional legal problems. Within the past 10 years, Bakley had been arrested in Tennessee on drug-related charges and was jailed in Arkansas for carrying a fake ID, according to family members and court records.
"She liked to live on the edge, that's for sure," Marjorie Carylon, Bakley's mother, told the Los Angeles Times.
Bakley's family said she could not have created many enemies. They believe that her past actions had nothing to do with her murder, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Bakley married Blake late last year after a DNA test determined that he is the father of her baby daughter, born in June, according to AP.
The couple, who had been known to be suffering from marital problems, did not live together. Bakley lived in a unit behind Blake's home, Braun told AP. The lawyer said their relationship was improving.
It has not been determined why Bakley was so afraid and felt the need for her husband to carry a gun. Braun told AP that it was still unclear as to who or what she was afraid of.
"Murder is usually a highly motivated thing, but here we have a woman we don't know a lot about," Braun told AP. "Someone took that opportunity to kill her when Robert left the car. She was very vulnerable."
After the incident, the actor's blood pressure shot up as he waited in the car for police to finish searching his home, Braun said. He was later taken to an undisclosed hospital on Saturday night, where he spent the night under observation.