Legal, PR crisis for Robert Wagner: Yacht captain accuses Wagner in death of Natalie Wood

Dennis Davern admits on NBC's TODAY show he lied to investigators 30 years ago when Natalie Wood died.
(PR NewsChannel) / November 18, 2011 / LOS ANGELES 

Dennis Davern accuses Robert Wagner in death of Natalie Wood on NBC's TODAY show this morning.

The PR crisis for actor Robert Wagner shifted into overdrive shortly after 7:00am ET this morning when the captain of a yacht accused actor Robert Wagner in the death of Wagner’s wife Natalie Wood on NBC’s TODAY program.

Dennis Davern admitted that he lied to investigators three decades ago when asked about what happened on that yacht he captained 30 years ago when actress Natalie Wood died and what he knew about Natalie Wood’s death.

Dennis Davern hinted that he conspired with Robert Wagner and Christopher Walken, another actor on board the yacht that night, to get on board with the same story to tell investigators.

“Was the fight between Natalie Wood and her husband Robert Wagner what ultimately led to her death?” host David Gregory asked on TODAY.

Davern replied “Yes.”

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Davern said he made mistakes not telling the truth about the events that led to the death of Natalie Wood and urged the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office to reopen the case. He said on the NBC program that he believes Robert Wagner intentionally kept the investigation low profile and that Wagner did not do everything he could have done. Davern would not elaborate.

Wagner, in addition to becoming the focus of a criminal investigation, which will be officially announced later today, now faces an intense amount of unwanted bad publicity.

“Just the reopening of the investigation is potentially harmful to Robert Wagner, his career and his image,” says Glenn Selig (Twitter: @glennselig), a crisis management PR expert and founder of The Publicity Agency.  “Robert Wagner should be concerned. In a world where people rush to judgement, most will assume there is likely something amok simply because law enforcement is taking the unusual step of opening a 30-year-old case and doing it so publicly.”

Selig says Robert Wagner needs to develop a strategy to deal with the publicity.

“Guilty or not, this will clearly be challenging for Robert Wagner to deal with and to talk about. But now is the time to start working on that PR strategy,” says Selig.

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SOURCE:  The Publicity Agency

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