Acting legend Robert Wagner “killed” his actress wife Natalie Wood because she was planning to divorce him, according to sensational allegations published today in US magazine Globe.
Although the coroner ruled the death to be accidental, Wagner was worried he’d be cut off from Natalie’s millions, author and investigator Marti Rulli told the publication.
“Natalie was the main breadwinner in the family,” Rulli says. “She was the one who had $9 million in the bank. Wagner was making a regular salary on his series, Hart to Hart, but he wasn’t making Natalie’s type of money.”
Rulli tells Globe she found out about Natalie’s plans to leave Wagner from her ‘Goodbye Natalie, Goodbye Splendour’ co-writer Dennis Davern, who was skipper on the couple’s yacht Splendour.
Natalie reportedly told Dennis that she didn’t want her “hot-tempered, booze-guzzling” husband around her daughters Natasha and Courtney, who were then 11 and 7.
“The night before Natalie died, she told Dennis she’d had it with Wagner, and was ready to leave him,” Rulli tells Globe.
Natalie and “RJ” were on a cruise aboard the Splendour with the actress’ ‘Brainstorm’ co-star Christopher Walken on November 29, 1981, when a fight erupted between the couple, according to the Globe report.
Wagner was reportedly jealous and accused Natalie of cheating.
“When Wagner smashed the wine bottle, Natalie’s words to him were, ‘That’s it, RJ! I won’t tolerate this anymore,” Rulli says, adding that there was “the fighting, the screaming and the yelling.”
Natalie disappeared that night and her “bruised” body was found floating in the waters off Catalina Island the next morning.
Rulli tells Globe LA Sheriff’s homicide detectives told her Wagner, now 87, is a “prime suspect” in Natalie’s drowning.
Wagner’s lawyer says he has always co-operated fully with investigators, and he has vehemently denied any suggestions of wrongdoing.
'It's all conjecture,' the clearly devastated star once told CNN's Larry King of speculation surrounding her death. 'There's absolutely nothing you can do about it.'