Police: Actor refuses to be interviewed in Natalie Wood death investigation

LOS ANGELES - Actor Robert Wagner has repeatedly refused to be interviewed by detectives probing the 1981 drowning of his wife, Natalie Wood, a sheriff's lieutenant said in remarks published Friday.

Since reopening the investigation more than 13 months ago, detectives have gathered new evidence and interviewed more than 100 witnesses, but not the man they're most anxious to interview, authorities told the Los Angeles Times.

"We reached out through his attorney and got rebuffed. We went to his home and he refused to talk us, and we sent him a letter, so I say it is fair to say he has declined to be interviewed, repeatedly," Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. John Corina told the newspaper.

Of the three surviving individuals who were aboard the 60-foot yacht where Wood was last seen alive on Nov. 28, 1981, before she drowned off Catalina Island, Wagner is the only one not to speak to detectives assigned to the new inquiry.

Now 82, he gave three interviews to detectives during the original investigation three decades ago. But Corina said the actor "changed his story over the years, as has the caretaker of the vessel."

Wagner's attorney, Blair Berk, released a statement Thursday evening saying Wagner and his family have fully cooperated with authorities and have nothing new to add, The Times reported.

Wood's death was originally listed as an accident. But the Los Angeles County coroner's office this week changed the cause to "undetermined," citing unexplained bruising, a scratch and a scrape.

Hours before her death, authorities said, Wood, Wagner and their friend, actor Christopher Walken, had dinner at a restaurant, then returned to the yacht, the Splendour, where they drank and an argument ensued between Walken and Wagner.

The Sheriff's Department has stressed that detectives have not determined whether a crime occurred on the boat. Corina told The Times that detectives simply want as clear a narrative as possible about what took place.

Corina told The Times that "people have come forward from surrounding vessels" and "we have developed new information." But he declined to provide details.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments