A music industry photographer testified Wednesday in Phil Spector’s murder trial that the record producer threatened her with a gun and held her hostage in a hotel room.
Stephanie Jennings was the third woman prosecutors called to show that Spector had a pattern of pulling guns on female companions leading up to the Feb. 3, 2003 shooting of actress Lana Clarkson, 40, in the foyer of his suburban mansion. She died of gunshot fired with the weapon in her mouth.
Spector’s lawyers claim Clarkson shot herself.
Jennings said she developed a long-distance relationship with Spector in 1994 and the following year she joined him for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions in New York, where Spector got her a room on his floor of the Carlisle Hotel.
She described being at a party where Spector became “extremely drunk, obnoxious” and said she went back to her room and went to sleep.
Jennings said a Spector bodyguard knocked at her door and told her Spector wanted her to come to his room. She said that after she refused, Spector showed up.
“He was definitely drunk and he was loud and demanding that I come over to his room,” Jennings said.
She said Spector bullied her, yelling and calling her names as she began to cry. At some point he followed her into the bathroom and pushed or slapped her. She fell onto the toilet.
“I jumped up and I grabbed him and he fell into the bathtub,” she said.
She said he got up without a word, left and then came back to her room with a small gun.
“He pulled a chair and put it in front of the door and said I wasn’t going anywhere,” Jennings said.
She said she feared she was going to get shot and sat on the bed crying. Then she picked up the phone but Spector didn’t realize she was calling 911, Jennings said.
“He made the comment that, ‘You can call your mom all you want, she can’t help you now,”’ Jennings said.
“They were treating me as if I was a call girl,” Jennings said.
Jennings said she did not press charges, and the hotel manager gave her money to take a train back to her home in Philadelphia.
Jennings testified that in spite of the confrontation, she accepted an invitation a year later to attend the same event as Spector’s guest, on the condition that “I wouldn’t even see him.”
He later invited her to a birthday party as his date, she said, but she stood him up because she had a new relationship. She said he then left a series of “horrible” phone messages and threatened to make sure she would never work again.
Spector, 67, rose to fame in the 1960s and ’70s, changing rock music with what became known as the “Wall of Sound” recording technique. Clarkson, who was a hostess at the House of Blues when she met Spector, was best known for a 1980s role in Roger Corman’s “Barbarian Queen.”