Exonerated actor Robert Blake made an emotional appeal for employment just moments after his murder trial ended last night (17MAR05) - because legal fees have left him with mounting debts.

The former BARETTA star, 71, told reporters he's in desperate need of paid work after spending $10 million (GBP5 million) defending himself against charges of first-degree murder in the 2001 killing of his wife, BONNY LEE BAKLEY, and further costs in the upcoming wrongful death lawsuit filed by his late wife's family.

He said, "I'm broke. I need a job."

But Los Angeles publicist MIKE SITRICK (corr) has advised Blake to use the murder trial to relaunch his career, by releasing a film or book based on the case.

Sitrick says, "There could be a book. There could be a made-for-TV movie, but I don't think it would be the one that he'd want. I think he could, down the road, get some roles."

Pop psychologist JOYCE BROTHERS adds, "They will not only accept him back but accept him back in spades. We are a nation that loves comebacks."

STEVE RESTIVO, co-owner of Vitello's, the Los Angeles restaurant where Blake shared his last meal with his late wife, is retiring from the eatery next month (APR05) but says he'd gladly give broke Blake a job.

He says, "I'll go back to washing dishes - and he can have my job."

18/03/2005 03:14