Robert Blake seeks bankruptcy protection

Feb. 4, 2006 at 7:05 PM

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Actor Robert Blake has filed for bankruptcy, citing legal bills and the $30 million his late wife's children won in their wrongful death suit against him.

Blake, 72, had claimed for months that he was broke after his criminal trial for Bonny Lee Bakley's murder, and the civil suit filed after he was acquitted in criminal court, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.

Blake formally filed for bankruptcy in Los Angeles Friday citing the $30 million judgment as his biggest liability along with a $1.2 million federal tax bill and a $334,337 state tax assessment, the newspaper said. He said he owes his civil attorney, Peter Ezzell, $7,903. Blake declared his assets to be in the range of $100,001 to $500,000.

Ezzell told the Times he wrote off $200,000 in legal fees because he was convinced his client was financially destitute.

But attorney Eric Dubin, who won the award for the Bakley's children in the civil trial said he "highly anticipated" Blake would try to get out of paying the penalty, adding: "And we're ready for it."

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