Spector says death of actress suicide

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The Independent US

Phil Spector, the eccentric record producer under investigation after a struggling actress was shot dead at his home, insisted in an interview made public yesterday that she committed suicide and allegations that he murdered her were preposterous.

"It's 'Anatomy of a Frame-up'," he told Esquire magazine. "There is no case. They have no case.

"I didn't do anything wrong ... If they had a case, I'd be sitting in jail right now."

According to Mr Spector, the 41-year-old actress, Lana Clarkson, was "loud and drunk" and latched on to him at the House of Blues club on Sunset Boulevard. At first she asked for a ride home, he said, then she asked to be shown around the Spector mansion in Alhambra, in the hills above Los Angeles. Finally, he claimed, she "kissed the gun" and killed herself.

"I never knew her, never even saw her before that night," Mr Spector said. "I have no idea who she was or what her agenda was."

Mr Spector's lawyers have previously suggested that Ms Clarkson's death at his fake castle home was an accident. Police investigators have specifically ruled out suicide, saying they are sure a crime was committed on the night of 3 February.

But the coroner's office has not ruled on a cause of death and no charges have been filed against Mr Spector, who remains free on $1m bail.

Mr Spector, who pioneered the "Wall of Sound" production technique in the early 1960s with the Ronettes and who later produced the Beatles, has a long history of mental instability and bizarre behaviour, including threatening gunplay at his home.

"I have not been well," he admitted in a long interview published just before Ms Clarkson's death.

"Insane is a hard word. I wasn't insane, but I wasn't well enough to function as a regular part of society, so I didn't."