Former BARETTA star Robert Blake is blaming the media for thwarting his hopes of reaching a settlement with the family of his slain wife BONNY LEE BAKLEY.

The 71-year-old actor, who was acquitted of the 2001 shooting death in a criminal court in March (05), is now facing a civil trial brought by Bakley's furious family.

And Blake - who claims to owe the US government more than he's now worth - believes that his alleged offer of $250,000 (GBP131,500) as a settlement wasn't taken because the media failed to report it.

He says, "I offered $250,000 of the money that really belongs to (the US government) and I didn't even get a response. That's what makes me believe that maybe the family doesn't even know about any of this.

"Would you rather have the lawyers get all the money, or would you rather have Bonny's family get all the money? All I know is that when it's over, the lawyers will be rich and everybody else is gonna be broke.

"For three or four years now, I have been the media's lab rat. I have been their komode... I wouldn't be here if the media would've said anything that I said when I walked out of the deposition several times trying to get through the fact that this is madness. Let's give the money where it belongs.

"They're quoting everybody. 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."

As for the whereabouts of his wife's real killer, he adds, "It's been four years and I don't have the answers. Do you want me to really go into Bonny's past so people can accuse me of trashing her? She had an awkward, interesting, different kind of life. There were a lot of things that she told me but I don't know. Somebody may rat somebody out in that kind of world.

"I will always be sorry and deeply saddened for what happened to Bonny."

18/05/2005 02:42