Record producer Phil Spector, facing trial in September on charges of fatally shooting an actress at his Los Angeles area home, has a history of using guns to intimidate women, prosecutors said in court documents released Monday.
They listed five encounters in which women said Spector pointed a gun at them, and other gun-related convictions and allegations involving the 65-year-old recording legend.
Los Angeles County prosecutors want the judge in the upcoming trial to allow the jury to hear about the incidents. The trial judge will decide on the request in May.
“Spector has a long history of gun-related violence, much of it directed against women. It begins in 1972 and continues to the present,” the prosecution’s court papers said.
The documents said the alleged “prior acts” should be heard by the jury “to show that the death of Lana Clarkson occurred pursuant to a recurring, common plan by Spector to intimidate women into staying with him.”
Spector, best known for his layered “Wall of Sound” recording technique in the 1960s, has denied murdering Clarkson, 40, on Feb. 3, 2003, after picking her up at a Los Angeles nightclub where she worked.
An autopsy report concluded that a gun was placed in the mouth of the actress and fired. The reclusive Spector says Clarkson committed suicide for reasons he does not understand.
The incidents referred to by the prosectors included;
- a 1972 arrest and subsequent guilty plea for carrying a loaded firearm in a public place.
- a 1975 run-in at a Beverly Hills hotel for which Spector pleaded guilty to brandishing a firearm.
- in 1977, Spector is said to have placed one arm around musician Leonard Cohen’s shoulders, pointed a semi-automatic pistol at Cohen’s chest and told him “I love you, Leonard.”
- in 1978, he allegedly pointed a gun at television producer Alan Sacks.
- In November 2003, at a Starbucks coffee shop near his home, Spector allegedly yelled at three men, “I’m gonna go get my gun and blow you ... away” after one of the men asked him to join them for coffee.
Spector is free on $1 million bail while awaiting trial set for Sept. 16.