ACTOR'S wife to be buried at Forest Lawn

Thursday, May 24th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Three weeks after she was shot to death, Robert Blake's wife will be buried Friday in a small service with the actor and their baby daughter at her graveside, his lawyer said.

Attorney Harland Braun said Bonny Lee Bakley will be interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills, a final resting place for many famous movie stars.

Blake arranged for the funeral and invited members of Bakley's family to attend but they declined, Braun said.

``He wanted to do this out of respect for the mother of his daughter and thankfulness that Rosie is in the world because of Bonny,'' Braun said.

The girl, Rose Lenore Sophie Blake, will be 1 year old on June 2. Blake's adult children also planned to attend the service, where a Catholic priest was expected to officiate.

Last week, Blake's lawyers canceled a secret memorial ceremony after the location was disclosed and members of the media rushed to the funeral home. The family, which had planned to bury her in New Jersey, abandoned that idea, fearing a similar crowd there.

Braun said he decided to announce Friday's service in advance and permit limited media pool coverage in hopes of preventing another chaotic scene.

Bakley was shot to death May 4 as she waited in the actor's car for him to return from a restaurant where they had just eaten. Blake told police he returned to the restaurant to retrieve a handgun he had been carrying to protect his wife.

Police have made no arrests and have sealed all documents in the case.

Although police have not ruled out Blake as a suspect in the killing, his lawyer has contended that many people may have had a motive to kill Bakley.

Braun said his own investigation into Bakley's past has revealed a swindling scheme in which she preyed on lonely men, sold pornographic pictures of herself and promised sex to her correspondents.

As a condition of her marriage to Blake, she signed a custody agreement promising not to associate with felons or do business on Blake's property.

Attorney Carey Goldstein, who represented Bakley at one time, confirmed that Blake invited Bakley's sister to the funeral, but she refused because ``she doesn't feel comfortable with him.''