Saturday, August 11, 2007

Spector Speaks & Nili Hudson, Lana's "real BFF"

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007

I drove to court again today, because I got out of the house very late. When I get inside the courtroom, I see Rachelle is wearing black again for the second day in a row. Maybe she's subconsciously realizing her husband's defense is dead in the water, and she's in pre-mourning. At least she had someone fix her hair today. Her massive split ends are not as prominent.

At 9:55 am we hear that Linda Kenney Baden is ill today, and Spector wants to address the court. It's a quite raspy voiced Spector that addresses Judge Fidler, stating, "She's my point person. I would very much like Ms. Baden to be here. She's my point person. She explains everything that goes on strategically, that handles all the defense. Her position is unique among the defense." He rambles on a bit more about never asking the court for anything ~what would you call those escorts to and from the parking lot~ but the Judge replies, "Sorry. We will go forward."

Court starts a half our later at 10:00 am, and Nick Terzian is back on the stand under direct examination. I notice that a trial watcher brought his young child to court. I wonder about parents who bring their kids to see a murder trial. Linda Deutsch had another coughing fit earlier, and a tall striking beauty, who is a friend of the witness, Nick Terzian, gave Linda something soothing for her throat.

Terzian states that Lana "went that extra mile to look the part" when going on an audition. She had a "reputation in the casting community, with a very high level of being prepared for a role. There was never any negative feedback. Nothing but great things were said about her. In his office, there was a phrase he used to instruct new talent on how to prepare for an audition: "Do The Lana Clarkson."

A sidebar is called by Rosen, and right afterwards, Rosen gets a phone call and the Judge lets him take it. Afterwards he approaches the bench. The best guess is it's about Ms. Baden's health. When the witness is asked what did Lana's accident do to her career, he replies, "It seized it completely." While she was recovering, she stopped in and visited every three months. A photo of Lana with her broken wrists is put up on the screen.

The witness states that Lana was in a transitionary period in her career. She was opening up her spectrum. She was seeking other opportunities. She did a demo voice over tape reel that was sent to several agents. In September/October 2002, no longer in that "dark period" she was ready to pursue jobs again and hit the pavement. In October 2002, out of several hundred applicants she landed a print ad for Chesterfield cigarettes. It was an international ad, and would only air in Spain. Lana was very careful about that, because she didn't want her image in the US to be linked to promoting a tobacco product. Her pay for the booking was $1500.

Q: What was her attitude?

A: Thrilled!

Objection! Move to strike!

Judge: Denied!

Terzian states that the industry is very quiet because of the holidays, and it happens every year. Sometime in December 2002-2003, Lana asked him for his advice about working at the House of Blues. She said, "I think this will be good. I've been out of the loop." It was before she went to the second interview meeting, she stopped by to talk to him, to get his opinion, his intake on taking this job. Once he understood that the position was in the Foundation room, and that she would be "hosting" vs "waitressing" he thought this would be a perfect opportunity for her to network again, and the hours were ideal for her to still go on auditions during the day. The jury takes notes during Terzian's testimony. On January 22, 2003, she went out on a print add audition for Siemen's Mobile. The actors were to "spoof" the cast of the TV show Dynasty.

Q: Did she, "do a Lana Clarkson?"

A: Yes.

Up on the Elmo is a Polaroid of Lana dressed for the part at the casting. She was put on hold for the job sometime after January 22nd, 2003. He notified Lana that she was put on hold. They booked the ad for Sieman's Mobile , and told her about that January 31st, 2003. When she was told, she was ecstatic. The ad was supposed to shoot February 8th, 2003.

Q: She never asked for an advance for this ad?

A: No.

Q: Was Lana in this job for the money?

A: Not totally.

Q: In your opinion, was Lana Clarkson a veteran actress?

A: Yes.

Q: Did she understand the ups and downs of the business?

A: Yes.

A sidebar is now called. The jurors look around, and some look out at the gallery. An email from Lana's web site is read, where she counseled an aspiring actor. Here it is:

Thanks, Carlos

Acting at any age...
Posted by Lana on January 17, 2003 at 20:45:41:
In Reply to: The Acting Biz posted by Carlos on January 17, 2003 at 15:00:10:

Hey Carlos,

Good luck with your studies and good for you that you are doing the smart thing and pursuing a degree. In my opinion, you can be an actor at any age. Actors tell stories and the stories of the world are about human beings of all ages. The best advice I can give you is to study the craft of acting. The more you know about your craft, the more likely you are to succeed. There are millions of hopeful actors out there who have no idea what kind of stamina, courage and self-confidence it takes to pursue acting and handle rejection properly. One mustn't take it personally. I have been working as an actor, studying my craft and continuing to pursue my dreams for many years now. This, contrary to what some would advise. They do not understand my passion and commitment to my art. Don't ever let anyone discourage you, no matter what! Go for it!!!

Good luck!

Terzian testifies that this email represents the Lana that he knew. That's about it for this witness on direct and Rosen gets up to perform the cross.

Terzian states that he is just one of her agents. Lana had more than one.

(Lana herself said on her website that she had an entire team. Here's a quote:)

My Team
Posted by Lana on January 19, 2003 at 14:47:58:
In Reply to: acting Entourage posted by jay on January 17, 2003 at 23:47:26:

Hi Jay,

I have a team of very talented individuals who I can call upon for advice, guidance and legal counsel. This team consists of 5 agents for different categories, a publicist, 3 lawyers and an accountant. I also have a very extensive team of people who help me to look and feel my very best, from hairdressers, to masseuses, to nutritionists to stylists ... all of these people are professionals of the utmost skill. I would not be working with them if they were not the best for me. It has taken me years to build my team and as it is a very personal thing, I can't recommend anyone to you directly. All those who work in the field of entertainment are talented, eager to work and do a good job and will be recommended by those you work with. As you begin to make contacts, these connections will come. As a rule, the percentage given to each varies from 10% to 30%.

Good Luck...

Q: Is this the first time you've ever testified in a court of law?

A: Yes.

Then Rosen asks him if he is a forensic expert in the entertainment industry, and is he being paid for his testimony. Terzian answers, "No."

Rosen then starts asking the witness about Lana's acting abilities and whether or not she had comedic talent. This is all a build up for a huge shocker, to try to show that the witness doesn't even know what he's talking about. The defense wants to play the Lana Unleashed video. Oh mother of God, does this defense team even think? How can any logical defense strategy be, to put a living, breathing, alive and vibrant victim before the jury when you are defending your client for this individuals murder. This validates my opinion that Rosen's defense strategy doesn't even rise to the level of "Defense for Dummies," because with this move, no way in hell did he even pass that basic class. A note is passed down to me. "Roger Rosen is a prick."

Once the video starts to play, Lana's sister Fawn starts crying and she doesn't stop during the entire 25-30 minutes this video is played. I couldn't see her face, but others in the courtroom verified for me that Mrs. Clarkson cried all through it too. I watch Fawn, and I can't take my eyes off her face, and even now as I write this, tears start to well up in my eyes just like they did as I watched Fawn cry. Spector watches the video from his slouched position. I feel unbelievably sad, and I have to break my gaze away from Fawn's sobbing face. I don't have a Kleenex with me to wipe my face and I have to somehow get my act together to pay attention and try to write my notes. It's difficult. I hear Donna clear her nose.

During the playing of the tape, the current Mrs. Spector, Rachelle Short an aspiring actress herself laughed at Lana's comedy sketches. What type of low life human being are you, when you laugh in open court at the woman who died in your home? But let's talk about what's really funny. Rachelle Short adamantly denying that she played the part of a topless dancer in the movie Tigerland. With Rachelle's thinking, just because she removed the credit from her IMDb page, of that non-speaking part of her fondling herself on a stage in the background of a bar scene, it never happened. I finally verified it. I watched Tigerland yesterday afternoon. She did leave the credit up for being an ex-Playboy model, as The Rad Report indicates.

Once this video is over, I feel completely drained. I pass these notes to my seat mates. Rosen is being a bully. This is a terrible tactic by the defense. But a total "win" for the prosecution. A sidebar is called, and I watch a juror and an alternate whisper to each other. Rosen then shows us how totally lacking in comedic talent he has, by trying to make his own joke that falls completely flat when the witness asks for some more water. “Let me give you some advice. Don’t wear out your welcome by asking for too much water here, Mr. Terzian.” The Judge gets this amazed expression on his face and the witness looks like he is totally lost. Rosen then has to explain that he was only making a joke ~a gawd awful one~ and that he can have as much water as he wants.

I'm watching the clock at this time. Three more minutes. Rosen gets the witness to admit that Lana "didn't make a million dollars" she didn't even make half that. It's at lunch that others in the courtroom verified what I thought I had seen for a moment after I was able to tear my eyes away from Fawn's tears. Some of the jurors did appear to be enjoying parts of the video.

Since my husband was late getting started today, he didn't make breakfast for us or fix my lunch, so I have to get some protein, a hamburger patty to go with the romaine lettuce I usually get to add to my homemade lunch. I'm quite depressed still, and I can't even carry on a conversation.

Back in the courtroom from lunch, Rachelle is deeply engrossed in her blackberry, and the defense has an objection to a document the next prosecution witness is going to present. Brunon objects to Pie's 2003 Christmas letter coming in, where she states, "Spector killed Lana." The Judge says he will look at the Pie's testimony and rule, but letting this letter in is how he's leaning. I can't get my game going for taking notes. I'm still quite affected by seeing Fawn crying. I know I have gotten totally emotionally involved in this case, and am lousy at staying objective like the seasoned professionals are. Terzian is back on the stand under cross.

Q: She only had the one booking in 2002?

A: Yes.

Rosen asks about 2001, and Terzian states that they don't hold onto those type of records. How about 2000, Rosen asks. He didn't represent her, so he wouldn't know. How about 1999? Terzian states again that he only represented her for a few months in 1999 an that was at another agency, so he wouldn't have access to those records, either. Rosen does make a small point that the witness only knew how excited she was before she actually got the House of Blues job. He never spoke to her about it after she had it or how happy she might might have been with it.

Then the witness has to step down, because they are going to take a witness out of order, because the next witness is leaving the country. It's Nili Shira Hudson, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker who has known Lana for 21 years, up until the time of her death. We soon find out, this is Lana's "real" very very best friend, whom she's known since she was eighteen years old. A photo is put up on the Elmo of Lana and Nili around 1981-1982 when they first met.

Nili tells the jury that she saw Lana the day before she died on February 2nd, 2003.

Q: How would you describe your friendship?

A: As close as best friends could be. I was friends with the family and spent Christmases with them. We spent quite a bit of time together. She was my family and I felt I was a part of her family.

Nili testifies that around 1997-1998, Lana shifted her focus to try comedy and that change got her the K-Mart and Budwiser advertising campaigns. Photos are put up on the screen of Lana with the K-Mart promotion, and one of her with Paul Newman. At the same time, Lana also had a shift in focus emotionally, becoming more spiritual, and joining a spiritual community. She cut back on her drinking and partying, as well as the amount of time she spent with the Pie. She was no longer doing the evening party scene on a regular basis. When asked about her broken wrists, a photo is put up on the Elmo where we see Lana with Nili, smiling. Her wrists are in halos. For six months she had a day nurse. It affected her ability to function. She had just completed the work on the video, when she had her accident.

It's at this point I realize the cafeteria food didn't agree with me, and I have to run to the restroom. Afraid that I might have a repeat of this scenario of having to leave the courtroom on a moments notice, I decide to call it a day and head home.

Over at the LA Weekly, Steven Mikulan predicts a hung jury.