Tearful and emotional, Natalie Wood’s sister Jan told CNN that she doesn’t expect Robert Wagner to offer an admission of guilt to killing the “West Side Story” star on the set of “Rebel Without a Cause.”
Wagner, who is Wood’s husband, and actor Christopher Walken, who was with her at the time, said in a statement Thursday that they were unaware of her death, and offered to help authorities and take a lie detector test. Walken said he was drinking whiskey with Wagner the night she disappeared.
Wagner said they were on their balcony with the door closed “pouring ourselves a cup of coffee” when they heard someone in the water below. Wagner said they screamed for him and Walken, but neither of them heard anything.
Wood was aboard a boat moored off Catalina Island near Los Angeles on Nov. 29, 1981, when she was found floating in the water. Authorities have ruled the death an accident. The death was ruled accidental, but other angles have surfaced over the years.
For years, Wood’s death was shrouded in mystery until a private eye hired by the actress’ family told authorities she had drowned accidentally. Several inconsistencies surfaced over the years, including whether Wagner pushed her into the water.
In 1983, the district attorney declined to file charges against Wagner and Walken, citing the lack of a definitive cause of death.
This year, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department launched a criminal investigation into the case. Wagner signed a document giving the department permission to investigate his role in the death.
“I don’t know what the outcome of the investigation will be. All I know is that I’m being asked questions about it all these years later, and I’m the one who’s the target. It’s not fair,’ said Wood, who described herself as one of Wagner’s strongest supporters.
She acknowledged that many people don’t buy Wagner’s explanation of the night Wood died.
‘All I know is that the reason people don’t buy it is because they have all this contradictory evidence that has come out over the years,’ she said.
What is true, she said, is that her family thought Wagner ‘was’definitely’ involved, according to her sister, and she believes he’s the one who pushed Wood off the boat.
“She had a very good relationship with Rob, but she looked on him as a father figure. He was her protector,’ she said.
Asked whether she felt an apology to Wood’s memory was warranted, Wood said she did not.
“I feel that any time someone commits suicide or any accident and all of a sudden there are days or days and weeks or months following that where it’s like, ohmygod, this happened, why didn’t anyone say anything? We wouldn’t stop, because of the love that we have for each other,’ she said.
“There is no reason,’ she said. “My siblings and I were there every step of the way,” she said.
She did say that she didn&aposside that Wagner should follow the lead of her late father, actor Robert Wagner.
‘It’s much more difficult for people to break from their memories of their loved ones when there are other stories around,’ she said.