Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Latest Phil Spector News

Many of you have written me asking if there's any Spector news. (For those of you who've been living in a cave the last couple of years, at the end of a retrial, Phil Spector was convicted of second degree murder in the death of Lana Clarkson on April 13th, 2009. His attorneys have since filed an appeal.) I've been very busy sewing nonstop for the past two months, getting ready for my busiest season, so I haven't been inside a courtroom in ages nor have I been able to keep up with Spector news. I want to say a big thank you to everyone who has taken the time to send me news articles over the past several months when anything hits the press regarding Phil Spector. Y'all know who you are, and I so appreciate your time in sending me the links.

There is a bit of big news that happened today. The State of California Attorney Generals Office filed their "Respondent's Brief" to Spector's Appeal, Case No. B216325, Second Appellate District, Division Three. You can read all 160 pages of the document here. The index alone is five pages but the "table of authorities" (listing the cases ruled on to support arguments) goes another 12 pages. Spector's reply brief deadline is November 2nd, 2010.

Over the summer, Spector's trial bride, Rachelle Short Spector was promoting her album, Out of My Chelle and posting music videos of herself on her web site singing and learning choreographed dance steps. (In the background of one of the videos, you can see the infamous "fountain" in the motor court behind Spector's mansion.)

Rachelle gave quite a few news outlet interviews as well as made the rounds on any radio show that would have her. Here's one that gets a bit wacky with KLSG's John Matthews. The Telegraph's Mick Brown did an excellent review of the album.

Although sources tell me someone named "Graham" was seen in studio with Rachelle producing, in interview after interview Mrs. Spector insists that her husband produced the album in his off time during the second trial. (Remember during the first trial, Spector was involved with award winning documentary film maker Virkam Jayanti about his life, The Agony and the Ecstasy of Phil Spector.) If that was really the case, I wonder why it took so long after the trial ended in a conviction for Mrs. Spector to find someone to make a video of her singing. You would think her husband would have wanted to be involved in that, too.

Recently, HBO released a statement that Al Pacino would be starring in a still unnamed project about the life of Phil Spector. Pacino is a wonderful actor and I can't wait to see how he will transform himself into the legendary producer. Especially that receding chin. I wonder if Pacino ever met Spector and if not, maybe Spector will let Pacino visit him in jail for a little one-on-one preparation for the role. I also can't wait to see who will portray Spector's various wives.

Months ago, the MSM indicated that Donna Clarkson's civil case against Spector for the death of her daughter, Lana was in "mediation." I've not heard any news that the status of that case has changed. That may not change until the Second Appellate District Court rules on Spector's appeal.

Last but not least, on December 13th, 2010 a hearing has been scheduled where Robert Shapiro will present a motion to Judge Malcolm Mackey, (Department 55, Stanley Mosk Courthouse) in an effort to get Phil Spector's lawsuit against him dismissed. The case is set for trial March 7th of next year. In the mean time, I'll try to find out if Spector will be let out for the hearing or the possible trial. What are the chances that Spector will be allowed out of prison to take the stand, if he pays for the cost of keeping him in custody, like he was allowed to do to see his personal dentist a while back? Anyone have a guess?


Karen C. said...

Pacino as Spector- Brilliant! Yes, yes, yes! When can I buy that ticket?

Anonymous said...

Thank-you for the update. I so seldom think of PS and his so called Bride. It has been bliss knowing that he has been tucked neatly away. Hopefully he will continue to spend tons of money on a losing defense. What a waste.....

Liz said...

It will be interesting to hear Shapiro - I still think he gave Spector the best advise of any of his lawyers and certainly earned his fee.

Katprint said...

FWIW, there is a legal procedure to obtain the personal presence of an inmate in the courtroom in a separate legal proceeding. However, PS will not be "let out." Basically the same protocols are followed as any jail/prison transfer for court proceedings.

I have personally represented dozens of incarcerated defendants who were temporarily transferred from their regular prison to the local county jail so that they could appear in court in other cases where they had been naughty. For example, someone might sell drugs in San Francisco (San Francisco County) and commit a robbery in Oakland (Alameda County) before getting arrested for driving under the influence in a stolen car in Richmond (Contra Costa County.) It is entirely possible that the last case could be concluded before the first case began, especially if the reason why the prior crimes were solved was because the perpetrator's identity was now known due to the later arrest on an unrelated crime. The inmate would simply be transferred from prison to jail to jail as necessary. Inmates generally dislike the transfers because they have to get up extra early (like 4 am) and often miss meals, shower time, yard time, etc.

Spector would not be unshackled or allowed to wear street clothes for a motion hearing before a judge, although he would probably be allowed to wear a shock belt under street clothes at any jury trial in civil case against Shapiro.

Anonymous said...

he is not a waste and for al paccino portraying phil if anyone can portray the famous producer inthe world it would be pacino,,,,aticca,,,,,love it praying for phil

Sprocket said...

Karen C: I'm going to have to get HBO just to see this film when it's finished.

Liz: I agree 100%. Shapiro did for Spector a miracle. Even with a dead woman in his house, resisting arrest, creating a ruckus at the police station, Shapiro got him out on bail in a very short period of time....and he didn't even have to put the money up yet. It was Shapiro's word that the bail would be paid! Would that happen to me or you? No forkin' way!

Katprint: Thank you. Poor choice of words "let out." Transfer of custody would of course be more accurate.

I agree that Phil needs prayer. I wonder how much he does himself....

Ms. Evie said...

I couldn't believe it when I heard it on the news but you betcha I will have my DVR ready. You are welcome to come watch with us--wouldn't that be an interesting conversation. I"ll PM you when and if we get together as a group.

Anonymous said...

Sprocket is 100% correct about Robert Shapiro. He used some of the same tactics he had used for O.J. Simpson. For example, Shapiro called what happened in Spector's house a "horrible human event." Shapiro used the exact same phrase in 1994.

Remember how Shapiro convinced the LAPD that he would bring Simpson in himself? How many people strongly suspected of a brutal double murder would be allowed to surrender voluntarily?

David In TN

Anonymous said...

I don't think its about Shapiro's representation as I firmly believe this lawsuit is because of the evidence bungalings of Dr. Lee. I would be surprised if the parties do not settle.

Anonymous said...

Sprocket? who would benefit from any money made from this HBO movie? Would the Clarkson family get it or would Rachelle and Phil?If you know

Linda in Tx

Katprint said...

In California, individuals own their own "right of publicity" including any depiction of their identities. For example, when a TV commercial showed a female robot in an evening gown turning around letters, Vanna White filed a successful lawsuit for infringement of her right of publicity. Similarly, Johnny Carson was able to obtain a restraining order against a company that was marketing toilets using the Johnny Carson Show's trademark phase "Here's Johnny!"

Bottom line: Clarkson's heirs would probably be entitled to some money from any HBO movie exploiting Clarkson's murder.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure HBO has to pay out monies to anyone when retelling a publicly known event like this killing. For the part of Lana, what about Jenny McCarthy or Kate Hudson? Both pretty blonds who can act. I agree with whatever reviewer said that Chelle's music was appropriate for some of the kids on the Disney channel but not at all for someone entering their fourth decade. That nailed it. These techo-pop divas are on and off the scene so very rapidly, I have seen hundreds since the disco days of th 1980's. (I am dating myself here).

Thank you for the news round-up!
Wes J.

Anonymous said...

There was a very recent Wall Street Journal article where David Mamet spoke about his feelings concering Phil S. guilt or innocents. Ummm as of what I read I didn't get the feeling he felt the same as many here may feel about the verdict. I guess we will know for sure when we see it, no HBO here either.

Betsy thank you for the updates, would you attend a Shapiro-Spector trial? If Shapiro represents himself I can't imagine what an interesting trial that would be.

Sprocket said...

I've read David Mament's comments. You have to understand their context thought. All Mamet saw was the documentary.

The documentary was about Phil and Phil's opinions (spin) about himself and his life. It wasn't a documentary about Spector's guilt or innocence in the murder of Lana Clarkson.

From my understanding (speaking to people who have seen the film) the film did not present ANY of the prosecution's expert witnesses or present any of the cross examination of the defense expert witnesses. So, from that standpoint, I can understand how Mamet came to his conclusion. Mamet freely admits he did not follow the trial.

Shapiro/Spector stand-off:

First, the judge will need to rul on Shaprio's motion to dismiss the case.

Whether or not I attend a Shaprio/Spector trial (we don't know if Shaprio is representing himself or not) like all my other trial watching will depend on my real life commitments at the time.

I will definitely try to attend the motion hearing on 12/13 but I have no guarantee that I will even get a seat in this courtroom.

Nora said...

Dismiss the case? Yuck. I'm thoroughly disgusted with any attorney who knows their clients are guilty of heinous crimes and yet defend them. Yes, yes, yes, I know everyone is entitled to defense. But I cannot ever trust or respect a lawyer who manpulates and lies to a court and tries to get a murderer out of facing responsibility and consequences for their actions - no matter if they're smart and win their case. Disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Spector and Pacino know each other. They have a picture taken with each other. When we got to see the inside of the Castle on TMZ, in the bar area you will see a picture of them. It must be quite a compliment to Spector to have someone as famous as Pacino play your life.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sprocket,
Just a comment on the latest musical release of RS. I caught an entire version of her "tribute" to PS and I was shocked. They are: "Your daddy gave up in front of everyone, took the radiator hose and rolled the windows up. Started the engine, let the smoke fill the cab, and then he was gone. (chorus sings "He's gone"). So you wrote a song, just to keep him alive. It bcame #1, then it changed your life. It's a far,far cry from the fatherless child to the teen tycoon..the Hitmaker Guy." Last verse is: "Boy becomes man-man takes a wife. He builds a home and she gives him life, to a boy and a girl in the October/fall and they lived behind the Sound of the Wall. Your son was taken too soon. Just a little boy,asked hi momma who's gonna take care of all my toys. Never made it to Xmas,even though he tried. But, now he's gone. (Repeat "He's gone" chorus. A bridge in the song has a line that says He wouldn't hurt a fly. I thought I would be ill.
I can see this song laying the biggest egg ever. Depressing. Anything to further her "career". Yuck. I thought you would enjoy the words. Totally tasteless woman.