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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 August 2005, 14:19 GMT 15:19 UK
Blake 'wanted first wife killed'
Robert Blake
Blake was cleared of murdering his second wife
US actor Robert Blake, acquitted in March of murdering his second wife, tried to have his first wife killed, according to a court deposition.

Sondra Kerr Blake alleges she was told Mr Blake had hired a hitman to kill her and her boyfriend in the 1970s.

The deposition is part of a wrongful death civil action brought by the family of his second wife Bonny Lee Bakley, who was murdered in 2001.

Mr Blake was cleared of hiring a hitman to kill her after they dined together.

Ms Kerr Blake, who was married to the actor for more than 20 years, alleges he was going to blame her death on followers of mass murderer Charles Manson.

'Staged retribution'

She said she and her then-boyfriend Steve Railsback were about to star in the TV movie Helter Skelter, about the cult and their killing of actress Sharon Tate.

Ms Kerr Blake said Mr Blake wanted her planned death to look like retribution from Manson's followers for making the film.

"He had put a contract out on me and the other man that I was seeing at the time," the deposition said.

Ms Kerr Blake gave evidence at the lengthy trial of the 71-year-old Baretta star, but did not mention the alleged contract killing.

The deposition said she learned of the plot from director Bernard Kowalski and a friend of Mr Blake's manager.

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