For years, actor Robert Wagner has denied rumors that he had something to do with the 1981 death of his wife, the Hollywood legend Natalie Wood. Now he's opening up in an interview with his own stepdaughter, Natasha Gregson Wagner, for the new HBO documentary, "Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind."
"How does it make you feel when they call you a person of interest?" Natasha asks Robert in the documentary.
"I don't pay very much attention to it, Natasha, because they're not going to redefine me," Robert responded.
Natalie Wood was a movie icon. The former child star from "Miracle on 34th Street" went on to star in "West Side Story" and many others. The world mourned her drowning at age 43 off the coast of Catalina Island in California following a night of drinking on board her yacht.
Natasha was just 11 years old when her mother died. In the new documentary, she questions Robert for details about that terrible night — and the violent outburst he acknowledges happened between him and their guest, actor Christopher Walken.
"He's telling me what she should do and how she should behave," Robert says. "I said, 'Why don't do you just — don't tell her what to do and stay out of our life.' I picked up the bottle and smashed it in on the table. I was really angry."
Natasha does not claim to be an impartial reporter.
"It's important to me, daddy, that people think of you that way I know that you are," she says in the documentary. "And it bothers me that anyone would ever think that you would be involved in what happened to her. Because you would have given your life for my mom."
The Los Angeles Sheriff's Office announced in 2018 that it reopened the investigation into Wood's death.
The documentary debuted on May 5 on HBO.