I can’t imagine why the New York Times Style section published their piece today about Lana Wood, sister of screen star Natalie. The Times allows Wood to accuse Robert Wagner once again of killing his wife in 1981. It’s a tabloid story with no merit.
Lana Wood is a tabloid regular, no stranger to the National Enquirer, Radar Online and any supermarket publication that will pay her to re-tell her allegations.
The strangeness of today’s story is that it’s written by someone named Elinor Blake. A search of the Times archives indicates no other stories ever by Blake. The only Elinor Blake I can find is an illustrator, animator and a singer-songwriter who’s worked with the White Stripes’ Jack White. She has an IMDB page under the pseudonym April March, with soundtrack and animation credits.
Whoever Elinor Blake is, she fails to mention a lot of things about Lana Wood: that two years ago she went to the tabloids claiming to be homeless. The Daily Mail in particular went with that story, and a GoFundMe page emerged. They raised $38,925, exceeding the $10,000 goal. None of that is included in the Times story, which presents Lana as a doting grandmother and faded Hollywood ingenue.
I don’t mind saying I like Robert Wagner. I interviewed him around 18 years ago in person at lunch and we discussed Natalie, her death, Christopher Walken, all of it. I’m probably the most skeptical cynic around, and I didn’t suspect he was lying to me. I ran into him last year, with Jill St. John, by accident in New York. He was charming and affable. Jill St. John and Wagner’s daughters are not idiots. I doubt they would be loyal to him if they thought he’d killed Natalie Wood. I also doubt Christopher Walken would have kept that a secret for 38 years. There was nothing in it for him.
Well, it’s summer, and there’s not a lot going on in the Styles world. If anyone knows who Elinor Blake is, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her lack of previous bylines may account for the Times already adding a Correction to the story. As for Lana Wood, the whole thing is quite tiresome by now. But I give her credit for snookering the Times.