Stephen M. Silverman
August 19, 2002 01:00 PM

Anthony Hopkins, Quincy Jones, Mort Sahl, Diane Sawyer and Barbara Walters have been dropping in to Los Angeles’s Men’s Central Jail recently to hold private tete-a-tetes with Robert Blake, who is being held there without bail pending his trial for murder, reports Reuters. “Robert gets no treatment that’s any different from anybody else in jail,” retired publicist Dale Olson, an F.O.B. (friend of Blake’s), identified by Reuters as the intermediary between the ex-“Baretta” star and the VIPs, told the news service. “The visitors wait where all the visitors wait. They go in to see Robert in the same line-up — a row of cages with glass front and telephones, just like the movies.” It’s a small room, said Olson (still remembered as the publicist who staunchly denied that his client, Rock Hudson, was suffering from AIDS). Olson said that Hopkins “called me because he just wanted to know how Robert was. He’s really a fan of Robert’s. He watched ‘In Cold Blood’ (costarring Blake) countless times before he played Hannibal Lecter.” Sawyer discussed her jail visit last month on “Good Morning America.” “Through the Plexiglass he said to me, ‘I didn’t do this horrible thing,”‘ Sawyer said on the program. Blake, 68, has been in the Men’s Central Jail since April 18, charged with the May 4, 2001, murder of his wife, Bonnie Lee Bakley, 44, who was found shot to death in the front passenger seat of Blake’s car. The vehicle was parked on a dark street in the San Fernando Valley near an Italian restaurant where the couple had just dined. Blake has pleaded not guilty.

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