By Linda Deutsch
LOS ANGELES – Actor Robert Blake, haggard and somber, spoke fondly of his slain wife during a brief funeral that drew more reporters than mourners and none of Bonny Lee Bakley’s family.
Blake attended the service with the couple’s daughter, Rose Lenore Sophie Blake, who turns 1 on June 2. He was flanked by his adult son and daughter from another marriage.
During the service, Blake stood graveside and said: “It’s because of Bonny that Rosie was born. It was her will, her conviction, not mine, her dedication that brought Rosie into this world, and for that I thank God and I thank Bonny.
“I stand here before God and I make this pledge that as long as he gives me breath I will do everything I can to make our daughter Rosie’s life the best I can.”
While the service took place, Fox News interviewed Margery Bakley in New York, who alleged that Blake killed her sister. She said she did not attend the funeral because she didn’t want to associate with Blake. She also criticized him for betraying the wishes of her family, which wanted Bakley cremated.
“There’s no love at that funeral,” she said.
The service took place three weeks after Bakley, 44, was found shot to death in Blake’s car outside a Studio City restaurant.
Blake’s comment about Bakley’s decision to have the baby apparently referred to tape recordings released since her death showing that Blake tried to persuade her to have an abortion.
He also thanked Bakley’s family for allowing him to bury his late wife at Forest Lawn Memorial Park so the girl could visit her mother’s grave.
Blake arrived quietly, slipping past the horde of reporters and photographers gathered outside the cemetery gate.
The cemetery is the final resting place for many of Hollywood’s most famous movie stars. A pool media camera videotaped the service and provided footage to television networks and affiliates.
Bakely married Blake after DNA tests showed she had given birth to his child.
Police have made no arrests and have sealed all documents in the case. Although police have not ruled Blake out as a suspect, his lawyer has contended many people may have had a motive to kill Bakley.
Blake’s attorney, Harland Braun, has portrayed Bakley as a celebrity-obsessed swindler who preyed on lonely men for money. But he said Blake wanted a dignified funeral for her.
Bakley had claimed to have had relationships with several celebrities and told friends that socializing with the famous made her feel she was better than others.
The 67-year-old actor’s lawyers canceled a secret memorial ceremony last week after the location was disclosed and members of the media swarmed the funeral home. Her family, which had planned to bury her remains in New Jersey, abandoned that idea, fearing a similar media crowd.
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