'Robert Blake: Murder in the Family': Did actor marry murder trial witness Pamela Hudak who testified for him?
Pamela Hudak had known Robert Blake for years and testified at the murder trial of Bonnie Lee Blakely on Blake's behalf
In Reelz's latest special, 'Robert Blake: Murder in the Family', viewers get another look at the 2001 murder of Bonnie Lee Blakely, for which the prime suspect was her husband of less than a year, 'Baretta' actor, Robert Blake. Blake was accused of hiring people to carry out the killing but was acquitted. However, he was found liable for her wrongful death.
Bonnie Lee Blakely's murder
Born Michael Gubitosi, Blake is best known for his role as Tony Baretta in the 1970s television show, 'Baretta', in which he had signature phrases such as "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time," and "You can take that to the bank." He was also known for his roles in 'Our Gang' and 'In Cold Blood', and had been in the entertainment industry since he was a child.
In 1999, Blake met Bonnie Lee Blakely, who was dating Marlon Brando's son, Christian Brando, at the time. Blakely got pregnant and claimed that Brando was the father at first. After Blake made her take a paternity test, Blake was identified to be the father and he married Blakely in November 2000.
On May 4, 2001, Blakely was murdered, when the couple went out for dinner, in a car that was parked on a side street around the corner from the restaurant. Blake said that he had gone back to the restaurant at the time to retrieve his pistol, which was proven not to be the murder weapon.
Two stuntmen came forward to claim that Blake had hired them to murder Blakely. However, due to the lack of physical evidence tying Blake to the murder, he was acquitted. He was later found liable for Blakely's wrongful death and was ordered to pay $15 million.
Who is Pamela Hudak?
One piece of evidence that was cited by the prosecution was that Blake had $10,000 in bills stashed in his home and the prosecution alleged that Blake was going to use the money to pay the stuntmen.
Two of Blake's associates testified on his behalf at the trial. His former personal assistant Daryn Goodall, and actress and event planner Pamela Hudak, testified that during the time they worked for Blake, the actor would keep large sums of money around his home because he preferred to use cash. Hudak also said she had seen three-inch rolls of hundred-dollar bills wrapped in rubber hands and envelopes filled with cash in Blake's dresser drawers.
Both Hudak and Goodall also testified that it was normal for Blake to use the side street at the restaurant rather than the parking lot as he had done so when they accompanied him to the same restaurant.
Hudak knew about these details because she was in a romantic relationship with Blake for two months in 1991, and even lived in his guesthouse in 1995 and 1997 in exchange for light housekeeping. During the trial, Hudak also stated that she maintained a "dear, deep friendship" with Blake.
Hudak said that she met Blakely twice — once in late 1999 when she accompanies the couple to the gynecologist's office. She said that Blakely liked to talk about the famous men she had romantic relationships with. Hudak also saw Blakely in the fall of 2000 when Hudak was asked to watch their child, Rosie, while Blake and Blakely went out.
Blake and Hudak's relationship — which was reportedly on-off for a long time, according to Hudak's ex Richard Hendershot, who spoke to Radar Online, stated that the pair met when she was a stand-in for Geena Davis — continued. They got married in March 2017.
In 2018, Blake filed for divorce which was finalized in June 2019. According to the terms of the settlement, Blake and Hudak kept their all own property they came into the marriage with, with Blake holding on to his pension from working in the entertainment industry, as well as a 1987 BMW.
Hudak got to keep some vintage jewelry, including ruby and opal rings as well as ruby earrings. There is no spousal support between Hudak and Blake because the marriage was short, but Blake agreed to pay Hudak $5,000 to cover her moving expenses.
'Robert Blake: Murder in the Family' premieres on Reelz on Saturday, January 23, at 9/8c.