Authorities said Thursday that Phil Spector does not fear for his safety in prison despite a letter that he recently wrote to a friend saying he felt in danger and wanted to be moved to a "better" facility.
"We interviewed Mr. Spector today," said Lt. Stephen Smith, spokesman for the Corcoran, Calif., prison where Spector is held. "Mr. Spector states he does not fear for his safety at our institution. He said he hopes he can stay here at our institution."
Terry Thornton, spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections said an Associated Press story about a letter Spector wrote fretting over his safety was brought to the attention of prison officials, who looked into it.
"We have a legal obligation to house all inmates safely," she said.
Spector, a legendary music producer, is serving 19 years to life for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson, who was found shot through the mouth at Spector's Alhambra mansion in February 2003.
In an Aug. 10 letter to a friend, Spector complained about being in a prison that houses "gangsters and Manson types" and said he was eating in his cell to avoid exposure to dangerous inmates. He said he was trying to get to "a better prison."
As for Spector's complaints about being in the same prison with Charles Manson and Sirhan Sirhan, Thornton said they are located a few miles apart in different facilities.
Spector, 69, is at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison at Corcoran, where more than 6,900 other inmates are housed. He is in a "sensitive needs yard," an area that typically houses prisoners who have dropped out of gangs or are trying to avoid gangs. Spector was probably placed there because of his notoriety, Smith said.
Manson, Sirhan and a few other high profile prisoners are at Corcoran State Prison a few miles away. They are in the protective housing unit, Thornton said.
"It's the highest form of protection we have in the state," she said. Others housed there include mass murderer Juan Corona and Michael Markhasev, the killer of Bill Cosby's son.
"If Manson was housed in the general population yard, he'd probably get killed," Thornton said.
She said Manson is isolated from others in his unit by his own choice.
"He doesn't care about Spector. He doesn't care about anybody," she said.