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What's Walken Got to Do With It? Actor Hires Lawyer as Wood Case Re-Opened

Christopher Walken
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Eyebrows are raised anew as the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department re-opens the investigation into the 1981 drowning death of Natalie Wood, and scuttlebutt once again surfaces about the 43-year-old actress' tumultuous marriage to Robert Wagner. Now actor Christopher Walken, who was aboard the yacht with the Wagners the night Wood died, has hired a lawyer. What's Walken got to do with Wood's death?In a press conference held today, Lt. John Corina of the LASD said Wagner is not a suspect, and that Wood's death remains classified as accidental. Walken, as well, is not under suspicion; he was, however, one of the last people to see Wood alive in the early morning hours of November 29, 1981.

The Hollywood Reporter has information about Walken's attorney, Mathew Rosengart:

Sources say Rosengart has come aboard to advise Walken in the inquiry. Though the attorney spent 10 years as a prosecutor with the U.S. Justice Department, his hiring does not mean Walken is expecting an adversarial process. Rosengart is a civil litigator with a strong entertainment litigation practice, and Walken is expected to cooperate fully with investigators during the probe.

An updated edition of a book about the yacht's captain, Dennis Davern, and the Wood case, alleges, however, that Walken--and Wagner--have been untruthful about the events leading up to Wood's drowning. Davern has admitted recently he, too, has lied about what happened the night Natalie Wood died.

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In the book, author Marti Rullii describes a tense moment aboard the yacht just hours before Wood's death, as Wood gave Walken "mesmeric attention," that drove Wagner mad. "So what do you want to do to my wife?" Wagner said, according to Rulli. "Do you want to fuck my wife? Is that what you want?" Wagner allegedly then smashed a wine bottle on the table in front of Wood and Walken. Walken reportedly left the room and shut himself in his cabin.