Upon hearing that Robert Blake had been arrested for the murder of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, Keeping Tabs was seized with a mix of anticipation and dread, knowing that Tabloidland would soon be plunged into a Blakeapalooza. The tabs did not disappoint, offering three very different takes on this story, each with a characteristic twist. So without further ado, here's KT's handy dandy Blakeapalooza scorecard ...
Synopsis: Blake who? True to its usual emphasis on celebrity lifestyle issues over hard news, the Star's big cover story this week is about Jennifer Aniston's purported "baby joy!" The Blake story ("Robert Blake's Other Victim—His Tragic Daughter, 2") is relegated to a small spot in the upper-right-hand corner, just above a teaser for those "amazing photos" showing how Ozzy Osbourne's wife Sharon lost 95 pounds. (The Aniston baby joy, by the way, is news that the Friends star is—yet again!—not pregnant but is reportedly kicking her purported pot-smoking habit in a "desperate effort" to have a baby.) Oh and how could we forget the Star's fascinating cover claim that President Clinton is having a "sexy fling" with supermodel Naomi Campbell?
But we digress. The Star's Blake coverage consists of a single story ("Dead Wife's Family Gives up Fight for Tot") about the custody battle that almost ensued over Blake and Bakley's 2-year-old daughter. Despite Robert Blake's emphatic assertions that he would "spend every dime of his $10 million fortune to keep his precious baby girl Rosie" away from her mother's family, Bakley's sister Margerry [sic] and her mother Lois, have apparently already conceded that little Rose is better off staying with her half-sister, Delinah [um, sic?], 35. Case closed.
Number of pages of coverage: two.
Number of reporters: one.
Highlight: Margerry says her decision was motivated by her concern for the little girl: "What I couldn't live with is for my sister's precious baby being caught in an ugly tug of love." God, no. Anything but the tug of love.
Low point: A "source close to the actor" is called upon to make the incisive observation that "poor little Rosie isn't even 2 yet and she could grow up an orphan without her mother and her father. It's so sad."
What did Blake say before being arrested? Blake's thoughts were—natch—of his little girl; he asked his daughter Delinah to "raise little Rosie like she was her own."
Touching last line: "We want her to know that we loved her enough to give her up," says Margerry.