The director of this summer’s blockbuster “Transformers” was called by prosecutors as a rebuttal witness at Phil Spector’s murder trial on Monday.
A defense witness had testified earlier in the trial actress Lana Clarkson was distraught over an encounter with director Michael Bay at a party about 10 days before she died in Spector’s home in 2003.
Spector’s attorneys contend it was another sign that Clarkson was suicidal and may have shot herself.
Bay testified he remembered Clarkson from a time he cast her for a small role in a car commercial in 1998, but denied ever seeing her among the 350 to 400 other people at the Hollywood Hills party in late January 2003.
“If I disrespected her she probably would have slapped me,” Bay said. “She was just that saucy.”
Clarkson’s friend Punkin Pie Laughlin testified last month that she accompanied Clarkson to the party. She said Clarkson, who found modest fame as the star of a cult movie, “Barbarian Queen,” in the 1980s, tried to talk to Bay but returned in tears, saying he didn’t acknowledge her.
Laughlin suggested the incident the party contributed to Clarkson’s depression and was a turning point.
The prosecution contends Spector, 67, who gained fame with his “Wall of Sound” music recording technique, killed Clarkson when she tried to leave his home after coming there for a drink.
Under questioning by prosecutor Alan Jackson, Bay said he scoured his memory after he read of Clarkson’s death, trying to figure out when he last saw her. He said he thought it was eight or nine months before she died but he could not remember the circumstances.
Defense attorney Brad Brunon noted that Bay did several movies after he first met Clarkson. Asked whether he ever offered her a role in one of his movies, Bay snapped, “No. But I never offered Tom Hanks a part either.”
Bay recalled that at Christmas 2002, he received a gift of chocolates from Clarkson along with a copy of a one-woman video she had produced to promote her career.
Asked by Brunon whether he gave the video any consideration, he said, “I didn’t even look at it.”