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tv   Piers Morgan Tonight  CNN  July 11, 2012 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT

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to the russian people. so before you say your final farewells, remember what another famous lennon once said -- you say goodbye and i say hello. thanks so much for joining us. i'm tom foreman. tonight, exclusive -- >> i never allowed anybody to ask me the questions you're asking. >> from child star to hollywood legend to a man on trial for his life. robert blake tells me his story as he never told it before. explosive. >> i'll get you [ bleep ] later but don't think you were going to get off the hook. i was supposed to die in that cell, wasn't i, you [ bleep ]. >> controversial. >> does that mean i'm lying to you? >> i don't know. are you? >> what do you think? >> this is robert blake as you've never seen him before anywhere. >> do you think you're sane?
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>> am i what? >> do you think you're sane? do you feel you have your full sanity? or has what happened to you sent you slightly mad? what do you think? >> well, i'll tell you. >> tonight, robert blake. the piers morgan interview starts now. good evening. i've been interviewing celebrities and public figures for more than 25 years, more than 2,000 people, including presidents, prime ministers, movie tv and pop stars, but i have never had an encounter as explosive, confrontational, or as extraordinary as the one you're about to witness. robert blake is a hollywood legend, shot to fame in our gang. went on to a chilling role as the murderer in the film "in cold blood" and won an emmy for "baretta." things changed when he met bonnie lee blakely. she became the mother of his
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child. his second marriage, her tenth. six months later, she was found dead by a gunshot wound to the head. it was a cold case. then her children filed a civil suit against blake alleged he was responsible for their mother's death. he was found liable and ordered to pay $30 million and declared himself bankrupt. since then, robert blake has kept a pretty low profile. hasn't given a television interview for nearly a decade. wrote a book "tales of a rascal -- what i did for love." tonight he breaks his silence. you haven't seen an interview quite like this. robert blake is a man on the edge, a man of pent-up fury and what he says has wrongfully happened to him. >> robert, how are you? >> i'm not as interesting as you described. but i'll run with it. holy toledo. do i look like that? >> you do. >> you ought to take that
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raggedy old thing in the yard and bury it. i look like that? no, i look like that. okay, yes, sir, i'm sorry. i'm here. how am i? >> when was the last time you gave an interview? >> well, a couple of weeks ago at a motorcycle joint a chick came up to me with a very interesting accent and she interviewed me for quite a while. but -- >> on major television. [ bleep ] program and i wasn't available yet. but last time i was interviewed, i guess right here, the guy with the -- >> larry, yeah. >> when i was acquitted. i went to -- i promised barbara walters, who saved my life, and won't talk to me now, but that's another story. i promised her that if i was acquitted or i went to jail or committed suicide, she would get the first interview, so i flew to new york and i talked to her for 10 minutes and i came back. and i've been roaming around the
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country and doing -- what the hell have i been doing? >> i don't know. >> how are you robert? how am i? well, i'm lonely. the way i always am. i was born lonely, i live lonely and i'll die lonely. but the audience has always given me a life ever since i was 2 years old. i danced for them on the streets and they threw money and i said i'm home. it's nice to be back. >> what do you think your public reputation is now? >> my public reputation? i've been traveling around the country for a long time because i was kind of -- after the trial, i was a nervous breakdown. and if anybody in my life -- i didn't have anybody in my life, but if anybody loved me, they would have taken me to hawaii and laid me down in the sand. but there wasn't anybody, so i just got in the car and drove around, living on twinkies and webber's bread, and grew a beard
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and walked into a pool room and shoot some 9-ball and stuff like that. but the fans have never, ever, ever left me. >> you keep in touch through facebook and stuff, right? >> i had a facebook. i don't know what the hell a facebook is. i don't even type. but a friend of mine said you need a facebook. i thought they were going to cut my face or something. they said, here it is. you just talk to the people. and it was very nice. the people said well, tell us about alfalfa. what was he really like? i said okay, i could do that. that was two or three pages. somebody else was typing. not me. and that went on for a while. but then pretty soon, weird things started to happen. they started saying, well, that really isn't the way elizabeth taylor was. i'm saying i went to school with elizabeth taylor. i sat next to her when i was 5 years old. we were boyfriend and girlfriend. no, that's not elizabeth taylor. you really don't know. i said you know what, this is [ bleep ], goodbye. but what was weird was i couldn't stop talking about myself to myself.
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and a i started saying, god damn, this is an amazing life. did i really live this thing? >> you've ridden an extraordinary book. it is in parts compelling, in parts, rambling, i'll be honest with you. in parts scary, sad, funny. it's everything. i never read a book quite like it. >> that's what it said on the back of the book. it's an amazing book but don't publish it. >> it's a story, unless i'm wrong, in your eyes of constantly being betrayed and let down. that's the theme that runs through from when you're first born and your parents want to abort you and end up they can't afford to. from then on, it just seems like your life has been -- >> if frank sinatra's mother worked for nothing, i wouldn't have been here. she wanted 15 bucks and he didn't have it. >> she was the woman doing these at the time? >> okay, i'll get serious for just a minute. i know it's show business and i'm supposed to keep it funny but -- >> no, i would rather keep it serious.
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>> when i did all the facebook stuff and i went into the closet and found two boxes of pictures that i didn't know exist. they were full of rat [ bleep ] and i pulled the pictures out and i said that's all me. what do i do with this? somebody said write a book. and i couldn't write a book. i'm not going to write six books. i'm only going to write one book. how do i put 75 years in one book? well, you do it the way you just saw. there's four or five little chapters about the rascals, there's chapters about those rotten [ bleep ] cops that ripped my guts out and left me beside the road to die. i'll get to you son of [ bleep ] later, but don't think you're going to get off the hook. i was supposed to die in that cell wasn't i, you [ bleep ] well, i didn't die. and you didn't get your book deals, you mothers. i wrote a book about you. so you'll have to go out and rip some celebrity till he's dead then you can write a book about him. i'm sorry, i'm back. that's how -- so the book became
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all of my life. there's 20 years of a crazy [ bleep ] marriage. there's alcohol, there's drugs, there's the best of times. the best of times when i was 8 years old my life was exquisite. i went to mgm when i was 5. i was an extra and i'm watching. i say, wait a minute, if you talk, they pay attention to you. i don't care about the money, they pay attention to you. and i found love, just the way i found love on the sidewalk. >> do you think you're sane? >> i'm what? >> do you think you're sane? do you think you have your full sanity? or has what's happened to you sent you slightly mad? what do you think? >> well, i'll tell you. i think i was born -- the truth is, i think i'm sort of a mutation, or a sub species. i think if i was born 10,000 years ago, i would have taken two or three people, gone off
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and started another tribe. >> how much do you blame your parents? >> i don't blame anybody. that book is about god. god kept me alive in a womb when my mother tried to abort me with coat hangers twice. god kept me alive in the first two years of my life. when nobody gave a [ bleep ] if i lived or died. god showed me where the sidewalk was when i started dancing. when i got out here at 5 years old, i stood in front of mgm and said i can do this. i walked there, three years later, i starred in my first film. >> i am curious, because it is in the book and it's a powerful testimony in your life, i think. the relationship you had with your parents. because from what i've read about that relationship, they didn't care for you, they didn't love you. you had -- >> i was a pain in the ass to them. they had two children. then they had two abortions. then she got pregnant again, but she really got pregnant with my uncle across the street, because that's who she was always in love with. so now she's pregnant with me.
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he says to her, go to hell and he runs off. now she hates me. my father hates me because in his heart, he knows that i'm his brother's kid. they tried to get rid of me. and they couldn't. >> did they ever tell you they loved you, your parents? >> never. they didn't even talk to me. i was like a, you know, they paid more attention to a dog than they paid to me. >> but you don't necessarily blame them because of your belief in god. how much do you think, did it damage your character? damage your personality? make you a damaged person? >> oh, i think that if i came from a different family, i would have been a very different person. i have lived my life in front of people. from the time i was 2 years old, i was in front of people, never with them. and i've always been kind of alone that way. but as long as there was a camera within 10 feet of me that i could get in front of, or if i could get in front of an
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audience, i feel comfortable. i feel at home. but i've never been a successful person in terms of relationships. you know, i -- i'll give you one line. >> are you capable of love? >> absolutely. i love my life. i love god. i can't tell you -- love spills out of my ears at night when i'm lying alone. the gratitude that i have for my life. how could you not love a god who kept you alive in a cement box for a year? how could you not love a god who kept you alive in a womb when you were supposed to be dead out of the wb. >> let's take a short break. we'll come back and i want to talk to you about the events of 2001. because clearly your life was very, very different after that. >> take that to the bank, brother. ♪
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>> more of my exclusive interview with robert blake. the high point of his movie career without a doubt, 1967's "in cold blood." absolutely chilling murder of perry smith. take a look. >> he started yelling what a greedy selfish bastard i was, yelling and yelling till i grabbed his throat. i couldn't stop myself. he tore it loose, i got a gun. he said look at me, boy. fake a good look because i'm the last living thing you're ever going to see. and he pulled the trigger. but the gun wasn't loaded. >> could i just say one word about this before -- >> yeah.
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>> i came to the set and boy, i was so raw and i was so ready to play that scene. we started the scene and the tears are flowing and i'm rolling and i'm spencer tracy, i'm john garfield, i'm everybody on the planet, and the boss says cut. clear the set, everybody get out of here. and he came up to me and said robert, the rain is crying for you. i said what the hell are you talking about, boss? he said you just say the words. no, i got enough emotion in me to start world war iii. he said take a cup of coffee, he calmed me down. he said all i want you to do is say the words. and i did it and it became one of the most memorable scenes. everybody talks about that scene and how brilliant it was. and you know what, let me just say this -- without blowing
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smoke up your [ bleep ] i say this with all my heart, i'm deeply grateful that i'm here with you. because in the past i could do any talk show i wanted in the world, but barbara walters said i love you, robert, but you can't be on "the view." why? because we sell toothpaste and if we get a letter from some pta lady who says what are you doing with that accused murderer on your show? so all of that was denied me. and i said the hell with them. i can't retire. i can't do it. i've got to show the cops and all those son of [ bleep ] that thought i was dead that i can get on the bull and ride them again. my goal in life is to make one more beautiful film, not write books and not do talk shows and not go out and sign autographs like all older actors and [ bleep ] do, that there's nothing wrong with it. that would be fine. i could go on the road and spend the rest of my life with the
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people. but then the cops would have won. the [ bleep ] that killed me would see that i was in my grave. but if i get in the arena and ride that bull and do the best movie i ever did in my life. and harvey weinstein is out there some place, kevin costner, and i'll find one of them and go out the way i want to go out. and that's not living some kind of half-[ bleep ] life some old actor lives. >> i was going to bring you to the events of 2001 that dramatically changed your life. before the night that your wife died, tell me about your relationship with bonnie lee, leading up to that night. >> it's funny, when push comes to shove, whether i'm in a motorcycle joint or a barbershop or wherever, sooner or later, and take this with love, not sharpness. everybody wants to put me on the
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stand. because i didn't take the stand. okay, i promise to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. my real name is michael james. i was born in new jersey in nutley, new jersey, now what would you like to hear? >> what your relationship was like with her before she died. >> my relationship with her was not bad. i felt sorry for her sometimes. because god never gave her that little piece of sunshine that he gave me. all the times i could have been dead and should have been dead and would have been dead but god always said no, here's the sidewalk little boy, go out there and dance and they'll throw money. she wanted to be, i don't know, a movie star. she was a talented woman. she was a lot of things. and we got married. everybody said why are you getting married? why not? i had the gift of the world.
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i had the most beautiful gift that anybody could ever have. i had a newborn child in my hands. >> did you love her, though? >> no. i didn't know her well enough to love her. i love you as a human being. you're my brother in arms. we're all in this thing together, but we were not dramatically in love or things like that. >> once you got married and stuff about her past began to materialize, the stuff about being a scam artist. >> i knew that before we got married. >> did you know everything about her? >> nobody knows everything -- particularly a person like bonnie. nobody will know everything about bonnie. >> if you're being honest, was she duplicitous, was she a liar? was she a con artist? >> yes, i think she came to hollywood to con her way into show business. i mean, she tried to hustle christian brando. she actually named my baby christian brando. and i changed the name.
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but when we found out that i was the father, and what better thing could i do for myself or my baby than marry her mother? what's the down side? what's the worst that can happen after three or four years. it didn't work out and then we got divorced. but i would have my baby all the time with me rather than having to fly to wherever she chose to live and go through lawyers and all that [ bleep ] about i want to see my baby. what do i need that for? i'm an old man. i'm filthy rich. i've got $25 million. i'm not talking abstract. i mean, i had $25 million that i could get my hands on in one day. i didn't have margin stock. i owned the stock. i owned half of santa monica. hard dollars. i'm broke now. i couldn't buy [ bleep ] for a field mouse. i'm broke as -- i couldn't buy a hole in a nickel doughnut. but i was filthy rich. robert, where did all the money go?
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well, check with all those rats that jumped ship when the going got tough. my family, my friends, my business agents. my managers. all those sons of [ bleep ] that came to jail and told me to sign this and sign this and sign -- well, why didn't you go after them, robert? well, because i wanted to get out of the middle of the whole world. remember, i got arrested before 9/11. so the media was always looking for something to tear up and rip up and eat. so i wanted to get away from all of that. >> we asked abc for a response to what robert blake had to say about barbara walters and the view. they had no comment. and for the record, there were no preconditions for his interview with me. when we come back, things get really heated when i ask robert blake about the murder of his wife.
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my interview with robert blake. he's raw, riveting and absolutely unpredictable, especially when we asked him about his wife. brake was tried and acquitted of her murder and as you can see, he gets very angry and defensive when i bring it up. >> let's rewind a little bit. >> rewind? am i still on the stand? no, i'm teasing go ahead. >> i want to get to the truth if i can.
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>> if you can. be careful. i want you to get careful because sometimes the guy in here tends to insult me a little bit. you want to get to the truth if you can. does that mean i'm lying to you? >> i don't know. are you? >> what do you think? >> i don't know. i think we're going to get some questions where -- >> well, tell me where i'm lying. because if you don't know i'm telling you the truth, then you must have a scratch in the back of your head where i'm lying. tell me where i'm lying. >> i'm not saying you're lying. >> but you're saying i don't know if i'm telling the truth. >> i'm saying i met you for, what, 20 minutes. >> i don't care. you put me on the stand and i say i'm telling the truth and you're scratching your head. >> why are you being so defensive? >> because you just insulted me. >> i didn't insult you. >> yes, you did. nobody tells me i'm a liar. >> i didn't call you a liar. >> you said you don't know if
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i'm telling the truth. what's the difference? i don't want to take this any place special. okay let me put it this way. my skin is a little thin. which is why a stay away from people mostly. i never allowed anybody to ask me the questions that you're asking. i allowed you to do that because i trust you and i would have assumed that you and that guy in your ear would trust me. and if you don't, then we better start talking about the "little rascals." >> i'm asking you questions -- >> did you hear what i said? i allowed you in because i trusted you. and that's a very big step. >> but you don't know me. >> we're supposed to be talking about what's in the book. that was my deal. you can talk about anything that's in the book. now you want me to talk about bonnie. bonnie is not in the book. i chose to allow you to go there and you should deeply, deeply respect that. >> okay.
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>> now, let the guy in your ear talk to you. >> there's no one talking in my ear. >> okay. >> do you think that bonnie lee was faithful to you? >> do you mean physically faithful? sure. >> people have tried to construct -- those who don't believe you -- >> who are those people? do you represent those people? >> i don't represent anybody. >> how do you know that people are trying to construct. >> listen, i wasn't even been living in this country when this happened. >> so where do you get these people? ain't nobody trying to construct anything. >> you can tap your name into the internet and you'll find a number of people who at the time and continue to cast aspersions on your innocence over what happened. now, you were acquitted. >> those people cast aspersions on everybody because people in america are deliriously unhappy
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right now. their country is going to [ bleep ] their money is going to [ bleep ] and gone, their american dream is going to [ bleep ] and gone. and they'll kick the [ bleep ] out of a dead person because that's where america is right now. >> robert, as you know, you were acquitted in a court of law of killing bonnie, but you were then found libel in a civil action brought by her family. that is why people believe -- >> oh, is that why? >> don't you think that is a reason why some people believe you may have done it? you were a huge hollywood star and a great actor. no one can take that away from you. but in 2001, you were accused of killing your wife. you were acquied. you spent a year in a prison cell, a cement box as you called it, but after you were acquitted, the family of your dead wife sued you in a civil case and you were find liable. -- found liable. >> do you know why i was arrested? >> tell me. >> how come i was arrested for murder and i stayed arrested for four years? one in a cement box and three in my front room where i couldn't
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leave because i was still under arrest. a fellow named specter was arrested for an hour and went home and was a free man for four years. then he was found guilty and he's in san quentin. you got any idea why? why i was under arrest for four years and he was under arrest for an hour, mr. research? >> no, i don't. >> well, why don't you [ bleep ] look it up before we start talking about it? you know it's in the book. if you were going to go someplace else, the guy in your ear should have got at least some information. why didn't he get a grand jury hearing? why did he stay in a cement box for a year? why was there no bail? what the hell happened to bail? >> why were you found guilty, do you think, in the civil case? >> i told you why. >> why? >> if you were -- if you were the lawyer on that side, i took the stand, i was suicidal. do you understand? a little bit earlier, you asked
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me, do you think i'm sane. at that time, no, i wasn't. i was suicidal. i didn't give a [ bleep ] if i lived or died. and i damned near did kill myself efrl times, once in the ocean. i didn't write that in the book because i didn't want to get too morbid. god stopped me when i was about a mile and a half out on a black ocean on a black night and said get home. >> do you mean the night she died well? or is it now something you blocked out of your head? >> no, i remember it quite well. >> you went and had dinner at this restaurant. >> where are you going? >> i'm interested in what happened. >> no, you're not interested. and the guy -- what are you doing? what the hell are you doing? >> let me take this out. you haven't got a worry. there's no one talking to me. these are my questions for you, based on. >> now you want to know what happened that night? >> i'm curious, yeah. you were acquitted. >> you know what happened that night.
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>> i know the facts that night. >> what! tell me about the facts of the night. >> you take your wife to dinner at a restaurant. your wife goes to the car, you go back to retrieve your gun in the restaurant and when you get back, your wife is shot dead. when they test the gun, it's not the gun that killed her. am i right so far? >> so far. >> i have no agenda here. i know you think i do, but i don't. >> it sounds boring as hell but go ahead. >> i don't think it's boring. your wife got murdered. >> but your questions. are you sure the people give a [ bleep ] about any of this. >> i think you're here because you've written a book about your life. >> there's a lot more to my life than that night. >> i'm sure there. but there's probably nothing more significant in your life than --
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>> [ bleep ]. >> really? than the murder of your wife. >> i didn't murder my wife. >> you said there's nothing more significant. >> than the murder of your wife. >> personally, it's not the most significant thing in my life. >> what is the -- >> the most significant thing in my life is when i was 2 years old and i found an audience. the next most significant thing is when i went to mgm as an extra and three years later i starred in my first film. you know, america just was going to war. it was the worst time in the world for america, but there was nothing more significant than a little boy with no parents, no friends, nothing, walking into mgm and three years later starring in his first film. you know how significant that is? no, because you've never lived my life. >> next, robert blake tells me what he thinks happened to his wife. trust me, you're going to want to hear what he says.
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>> i'm back with my explosive interview with robert blake. >> i sat down with hundreds of guests over the years, but there's never been anyone quite like mr. blake. i didn't know what to expect, and i'm not sure he did either. one thing's clear, he had a lot
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to say. "what i did for love" is his book. i talked a lot about that book, but as you'll see, that seemed to set him off all over again. >> i've read your book. that's pretty much every detail in your life. >> here's my phony birth certificate. i don't even know when the hell i was born. >> i've read your book. this is about your life. >> it's not about bonny's life or my relationship with bonny. i made a deal to come here and talk about anybody from the book. i excused you from that deal because i thought you were going to be cool. now you're trying to [ bleep ] into the ground. i don't know why. you're looking foolish. >> i'm not trying to drive anything into the ground. i'm asking questions about what i presumed to be a very important moment about your life. you've written a book about your life. >> i wrote a book about my life. i didn't write a book about that life, and i didn't write a book about bonnie. now, you can stay there the rest of your life if you want to, but i'm telling you you're starting to look silly. >> why? >> because it's stupid. you're not getting any place
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because there's no place to get. you're just like the cops. there's no place to get. keep him in jail until he dies because everybody who's dead is guilty. why would i marry her if i was going to kill her? i was worth $25 million. i could have hired somebody to kill her when she was in tibet or some place. she drove all over the country. she was out doing her -- i could have hired somebody to follow her for 10 months and make her disappear so nobody would ever find her for christ's sake. i would go out to dinner with her to kill her? what the [ bleep ] is the matter with you? >> i didn't say you killed her. >> you didn't say i didn't. you say it's all very interesting. why don't you ask me some really interesting questions. >> i said you were acquitted in the court case and you were -- >> and found guilty. i told you six times i was suicidal by the time we got -- >> that doesn't change the fact that you were found liable in the civil action. >> you would have been found liable if you were in my skin. you're curious about why i was found liable? >> i'm curious about how a civil
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-- about how you deal with a civil action was successfully brought against you for killing your wife. >> okay, here's the bottom line. what you think of me, i don't give a [ bleep ]. >> i don't -- >> shut up for a minute. >> these people that you represent, whatever they are, the nuts you find on the internet, i don't give a [ bleep ] what they think. i don't really care what i think about me. what i care about is what god thinks about me. when i lay on the bed at night, and i say god, how are we doing? i don't include you. i don't include the people that you represent. >> it's not about me, is it? >> yes, it is. because you opened that door, charlie potatoes. and i'm not going to sit here and let you or anybody else kick the [ bleep ] out of me without defending myself.
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and you can take that to the [ bleep ] bank, charlie. and if you want to show me the door, that's fine too. >> i have no interest in doing that. this is an interview. i'm just asking you questions about a hugely important part of your life. i don't see that as an aggressive act on my part. i've only stated facts. >> you don't have any idea of the facts. because if you do, you would have said how the hell come that guy was only arrested for an hour and he was found guilty and i was arrested for four years and i was found innocent. i could drive that one up your [ bleep ] where you could drive that up to me in the civil suit. why don't you go find out what the [ bleep ] you're talking about. >> what have i said that's factually inaccurate? >> it's not that it's inaccurate. it's boring. it's boring. you want to tell me about the night because you read it in the [ bleep ] newspaper someplace. >> hasn't it ruined your life? >> that's another matter, charlie. >> is that boring?
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>> we're not talking about how my life was ruined. we're talking about me and bonny. and me and bonny. and you and the people on the internet who say this or that about me. and the rest of that [ bleep ] don't you feel at all silly? >> i have said nothing about you. >> i've not cast aspersions on your guilt or otherwise. >> 75 years of a career, and you want to talk about something -- go ahead, charlie, keep dancing. >> you keep putting words in my mouth and you're clearly very angry or upset. >> not at all, charlie. i would be out the door. why don't you go find out why the cops arrested me in the first place and the chief of police got up in front of the entire world and said we solved the case, robert blake is the murderer. what happened to my constitutional rights? >> with all you've been able to find outince that night, who do you think killed bonny? >> it's not what i've been able to find out since that night.
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bonny had people that she burned. how bad? i don't know. did she steal everything from them? we'll leave that alone. but nobody ever really knew where bonny was. she had 15 id cards, she had 15 credit cards. she had different places where she lived. and nobody could ever find her if they were looking for her. but one day, somebody opened a paper and said bonny just married robert blake. where does robert blake live? and what? a couple of weeks later she was dead. now, i just want you to chew on that for a minute with all of these facts that you have. >> robert, how are you going to find peace with yourself? >> i'm not looking for peace. >> you must be. you can't go through your life feeling like that. >> what? >> you can't go through your
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life feeling like this. >> says who. i'm 79 years old. i would argue with a rock and try to beat it up. i'm an actor. i'm a performer. i'll give you the greatest line anyone gave me and i hope it takes you away from bonny for 30 seconds. john garfield, i played him as a boy. and i had a very difficult scene to play. and i couldn't pull it off. i couldn't pull it off. and john garfield cleared the room and he got the scene out of me. and he said robert, remember this for the rest of your life. your life is a rehearsal. your performance is real. and there's nobody that can say that more truthfully than me. i have found an audience when i was 2 years old and they never left me, no matter what the cops did, no matter what you say, no matter what the friends on the internet say.
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>> they're not friends. >> they've never, ever, ever left me. everybody else did. family, friends, you name it. they all jumped [ bleep ] ship. but not the fans. and i'm grateful for that. >> next, robert blake and the hollywood friends who stood by his side or rather didn't. and what he said was the greatest moment of his life. [ male announcer ] this is the at&t network.
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the only thing to expect from robert blake is the unexpected. he never holds back, especially when he talks about the town that turned his back on him. which of your hollywood friends stood by you? >> i don't have any hollywood friends. no one stood by you. >> no one at all? >> no, nobody. >> how do you feel about that? >> i'm grateful to god that i lived long enough to find out that 98% of my personal life was [ bleep ]. i don't think anybody else would have to ever face that. because they're different than me. i constructed a life, i constructed a marriage. i constructed friends.
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i constructed business associates, but it was all about what i could do for them. my hand was open to them and their hand was in my pocket. i paid for love. like it says in the book. >> where do you live now? >> i live in an apartment. i told you. i'm broke. i couldn't buy spats for a hummingbird. i'm broke. it is okay. i get a little pension, a little social security. >> do you have any women in your life? >> well, like i told you, i've been on the [ bleep ] for quite a long time now. i would like to eventually learn some girl's first name, but i'm scared. there is no question that i'm very thin skinned and i'm frightened. and there is no question [ bleep ] -- wait a minute.
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there's no question that i take things that you say too seriously and too much to heart. and i do misrepresent what people say to me because i know i'm still hurt. and i may be hurt for the rest of my life. and the only thing that will cure that hurt is if i get back on that bull that bucked me off and ride him. if i can go out in front of the camera, making the most beautiful film that i ever made, that's all i really want from life. but i'm not a whole person. i've never been a whole person since that son of a [ bleep ] cops ripped my guts out and left them by the side of the road. and maybe i never will be a whole person. but i'm enough of a person to execute the one gift that god gave me, the day i was born, i didn't have to learn how to act. when i was 5 years old, i stood on the set and watched bessey
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-- spencer tracy, and i said, i know exactly what he's doing. and i said, i can do that. just like when gene kelly danced when he was 5 years old. i can do that. like when mozart got on his piano -- >> it seems to me the heart break of your life now, you can't do the one thing that brought you love and happiness, which was the relationship with an audience and acting. >> who says i can't? this is my first stint back. >> i'm not saying you won't in the future. it seems to me that's the one thing you've really been missing. >> hey, understand me clearly. i'm going to do it. i've made money for this town for 75 years. when i go to somebody, whether it is harvey weinstein or donald duck, i go to him with a package they can't refuse. here is the script, here is the money. all you got to do is get out of the way and let me make you some money. this book is a calling card. i'm not interested in being an author. i'm not interested in anything except making a beautiful film, the best film i ever made in my
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life. and i will do it or i'll die in front of the camera while i'm doing it. you can take that to the bank and collect interest on it. because i've done it since i was 2 years old. remember, charlie, now i'm not teasing you. you know, it is real simple. in my life, if it ain't magic, it ain't [ bleep ]. all the rest, you know, let somebody else sell peanuts in the stands and spin ropes. i work on a high wire without a net. that's where i'm comfortable. old man wallenda was one of my heroes. you get on the highwire without a net. you get on the bull and they open that god damn chute and there's nobody in the universe but you and god. that's where i'm comfortable. doing something that is so scary that i can't sleep at night. that's where i'm comfortable.
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all the rest has been horse [ bleep ] and smoke. >> tales of a rascal, robert blake, what i did for love. an extraordinary book. i never read anything quite like it. it has been an extraordinary life, an extraordinary interview. >> i got to tell you it a one and a lifetime for me, boy. i'm telling you. piers, it has been a once in a lifetime, i hope i never have to do it again. but it has been a once in a lifetime. >> i wish you all the very best. >> i know you do. >> i really do. >> god bless you for that. >> thank you for coming in. >> thank you. >> robert blake. ♪
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tonight, a soon-to-be unpredictable, crazy and potentially dangerous event perfectly in keeping with the kind of interview just witnessed. it starts simply enough with a charming vinett, the type you see on small fishing decks all over america this summer. a young woman, dangling her bait off a south carolina coast, waiting for a nibble. the trouble is, this isn't just any old nibble. this is about as far removed from a normal little nibble as any fishermen could possibly imagine. >> he's got my line. >> oh [ bleep ] oh, jesus christ!