Phil Spector has got to be a little ticked off.
The 67-year-old music producer, who was charged with second-degree murder for the 2003 shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson at his Alhambra, Calif., mansion, has been waiting for a jury to decide his fate for nearly two weeks. Looks as though he might have to wait even longer.
On Tuesday, the jury foreman informed Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler that jurors were deadlocked. It was not revealed how the 7-5 vote was split but because of this impasse, Fidler may consider charging Spector with involuntary manslaughter; or he may opt to have the attorneys reargue the case.
Great. Just what we needed.
Truthfully, however, it doesn’t really matter. The Spector case could go on for the next 15 years and it will still probably be overshadowed by the constant flow of news flashes about Britney Spears, offensive acceptance speeches at award shows and the unwelcomed return of the notorious O.J. Simpson.
All together now: Phil who?
Although Spector is fighting for his freedom, he now has to play second fiddle to Simpson, who was arrested over the weekend for allegedly trying to rob some sports memorabilia dealers at gunpoint. On top of that, kidnapping charges were added late Tuesday evening.
“The Juice,” who was arraigned Wednesday, could spend the rest of his natural life in prison.
Great. Just what we needed.
But it seems like the media aren’t the only ones kicking Spector to the curb. None of my friends, colleagues or acquaintances has ever mentioned him. They haven’t even cracked on his ever-evolving hairdos. As a matter of fact, I suspect there aren’t many people outside of his immediate family or circle of friends and supporters that have any vested interest in this case.
Trial? More like snoozefestFrankly, it’s just boring. Where’s the sensationalism? Where’s the drama? Where are the attorneys with the rhyming sound bites appearing on the nightly news? The Simpson and Robert Blake trials had all of that, which is why there were so engaging and entertaining. All Spector does is sit there and stare.
But you know, sometimes we mere mortals expect too much. That’s why I thought it might be prudent to query a jury of Spector’s peers — celebrities. If anyone cared about him they would, right? Well ...
Among those expressing concern for Spector was former “Sopranos” star Steve Van Zandt. He conceded, however, that he was in the minority.
“That’s a good question actually,” said Van Zandt when asked why the Spector case was so low profile. “Even myself and I’m quite emotionally invested in it, I’m not sure why a lot of other people have no interest in this case. He’s a very, very important part of my life and my generation. I think we’re all in denial about it a little bit. We don’t want it to be true.”
“Boston Legal’s” Christopher Clemenson was less interested in the final verdict than Van Zandt but indicated it was nothing personal against Spector. He just has other priorities.
“It’s a personal tragedy more than anything,” Clemenson said. “I don’t know how newsworthy these celebrity trials are. I think the fact that people maybe aren’t paying as much attention to it is probably a good thing actually.”
True enough. We should be rejoicing that we haven’t been force-fed a steady diet of Phil Spector coverage. For one thing that dude is way scary. Have you seen those video clips of him in court? He makes Christopher Walken — who is even scarier — look like Brad Pitt.
Must be the haircutsOther celebrities, like Emmy winner Tina Fey of “30 Rock” and “Ugly Betty’s” Christopher Gorham, went for the funny when it came to explaining the lack of interest in the Spector case at Sunday’s Emmy Awards.
“Too many haircuts,” Fey said. “He’s got too many different hairstyles. He kind of needs to pick one and stick with it.”
And Gorham added just a dash of sarcasm. “I don’t know,” he said. “Maybe people are just tired of hearing about rich white people in trouble.”
If only that were really true.
For the past year we’ve watched other rich white people such as Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears and a handful of others self-destruct at six and 11 and we seemingly can’t get enough of it.
Collectively, they appeal to a wider demographic. And it’s a lot more fun to live vicariously through them because their young, rich, pretty and haven’t been accused of murder. Heaven help us if that happened.
So, you have to feel sorry for Spector. This is the first moment he’s had in years and he has to share it with Simpson, Spears and a plethora of other headline-grabbing celebs.
What’s an aging rocker with bad hair to do? Spector simply can’t compete.
That’s why regardless of when this verdict goes down, Spector will still be yesterday’s news brief.
Miki Turner is a columnist for MSNBC.com. She welcomes your comments at