A waitress testifying Monday in music producer Phil Spector’s murder trial described him as fatherly, but also said he once escorted her and a friend out of his mansion while carrying a rifle or shotgun.
Kathy Sullivan testified that she initially thought it was silly for Spector to walk them to a car with a gun, and that he looked like the cartoon character Elmer Fudd when he came downstairs with the weapon while wearing plaid.
She said she had told investigators that “it was the funniest picture in the whole wide world” but also testified that once she and her friend drove away she remarked, “I’m so glad we’re out of there.”
Spector, 67, is accused of murdering actress Lana Clarkson in the foyer of his mansion. Clarkson died of a gunshot through the mouth in the early hours of Feb. 3, 2003. Spector’s defense claims she shot herself. Four other women have testified Spector threatened them with guns before Clarkson’s death.
Sullivan, a server at one of Spector’s favorite restaurants, testified that in 1997 or 1998 she and another waitress named Susan who had become friends with Spector took pizza and wine to his home and spent the night there in separate rooms.
She said the next morning as they were about to depart, Spector left them in the foyer and returned carrying a long gun. Sullivan said she asked Spector what the weapon was for.
“He said, ‘Protection,”’ she testified.
Sullivan said that the night before Clarkson’s death, she and Spector met up with Clarkson, who was working at the entrance to a VIP room at the House of Blues where she was a hostess. Spector ordered a series of drinks, but “it never crossed my mind that he might be inebriated,” Sullivan said.
She agreed with defense attorney Roger Rosen’s characterizations of Spector as mannerly and paternalistic.
“You said it seemed to you and Susan that Mr. Spector got a kick out of you,” Rosen said.
That prompted Sullivan to tell a story.
“Well, Susan and I were pretty crazy and we were working on a lounge act,” she said. “And we would go up to Phillip’s house and she would bring her guitar and we would do some of our numbers for him, which were clearly terrible.
“And he would sit there very nicely, just sort of nodding, and at the end of it he wouldn’t tell us to shut up. He would simply say, ‘Have you thought about this song?’ and he would lead us to something else.
“It was just very kind and something like a dad would do when he saw his kid’s ballet recital.”
Spector rose to fame in the 1960s and ’70s, changing rock music with what became known as the “Wall of Sound” recording technique. Clarkson was best known for a role in the 1985 film “Barbarian Queen.”