CA vs. Spector – Back to Testimony
Posted by thedarwinexception on May 7, 2007
Today we finally get to hear live testimony again. Bruce Cutler is back in the courtroom, seemingly healthy. Spector is also back in the courtroom, after taking the week off last week during the hearings on the evidentiary controversies.This morning seems to be about Dorothy Melvin and her credibility. The first witness is Officer Chris Russ, the officer who responded to her complaint when she was allegedly assaulted and held at gunpoint by Phil Spector.Russ testifies that yes, Melvin did call police in an effort to retrieve her purse. “She said she was at her boyfriend’s home, the home of Phil Spector. He had displayed a handgun and forced her to leave the residence and also forced her to leave her handbag,” he says. He testifies that Melvin insisted that no charges be filed because of possible damage to her reputation (as Joan Rivers manager) and to Spector’s.Russ says that he remembers the incident for two reasons – number one that the complaining party was the manager to Rivers (a name he recognized, although he did not know who Phil Spector was at the time), and second because Phil Spector had showed the responding officers a guitar he said was given to him by John Lennon.On cross-examination, the defense points out several discrepancies in what Melvin said and what the report Russ made of the incident states. For starters, Russ says Spector didn’t seem drunk. Melvin said he had consumed most of a fifth of vodka. Russ says Melvin didn’t have any noticeable injuries. She says she had two welts and was bleeding. He says when asked that he would have photographed such injuries. He says he only wrote down that Spector had displayed a gun, not that he had pistol-whipped Melvin
twice or pointed a gun directly at her face as she claims.
“If a person had contacted you and told you that they had been struck by a weapon or a hand holding a weapon you would have conducted further investigation, correct?” defense attorney Roger Rosen asks.
“Yes,” the officer replies.
Next up are a series of phone messages Spector left for Dorothy Melvin, both before the “incident” and after. They are striking in their content – they seem to play out the whole of their relationship from first infatuation to threats of lawsuits.
In the first message Spector is desperate to see Dorothy, who has arrived in L.A. for the Fourth of July weekend from New York. “You came into town and never called us,” Spector says in mock indignation mixed with breathless excitement. There’s a certain Queen Elizabeth first-person plural thing going on: “We’d like to see you and talk to you! … Don’t be so mysterious!”
Next is a message left after the incident. He is sorry and his voice is more subdued and softer. What you did (assumedly calling the police) was “the right thing,” he tells her machine. “It was what you had to do under the circumstances,” he says softly. “If you want to harbor ill will against me, it is OK,” he adds.
In the third message he is again bouncy and animated. He is laughing at himself. “Harboring ill will?” I don’t even know what that means, he chuckles. Still, he is very, very sorry. Call me, he urges her.
Message 4: He is still sorry for the “inexcusable behavior.” “You were completely and totally victimized,” he says.
Message 5 he is getting more hostile. He’s angry. Also perhaps in pain. “I had some trouble with my nipple ring,” he begins. He sounds bitter. He wants a call back. He cannot be replaced by a machine. “Be careful what you say to me, because nothing you say to me is worth your life,” he says.
Message 6 is the inevitable conclusion: Litigation. “You are fucked and I am going to get you for what you did. You will see papers Monday morning,” he tells her.
Next up is another of the “past pattern” witnesses. Dianne Ogden, who was a talent coordinator in Hollywood, with one of her largest gigs being the Grammy Awards. She begins by telling the jury how she met Phil Spector through his then agent, and how his agent suggested that she attend a dinner party that Phil was hosting at one of the then trendy restaurants in the area.
She attended the dinner, and several dinners with Phil Spector after that one. Usually with a group of people. She recounts that after a while, they began a casual dating relationship until one evening when she was at his home and when she attempted to leave Phil used a remote button to lock the doors and would not let her out. She thought that this was just a joke on his part, although he wasn’t laughing, and since the behavior was so out of the norm for him and was so bizarre, she wasn’t really afraid, but was a little concerned. She pleaded with Spector to unlock the door and let her leave, and he eventually did.
She didn’t see him after that for a while until several years later when, again, his agent called her suggesting that she and Phil get together.
And that’s where testimony ended for today here on the East Coast. Tomorrow there is no live testimony – one of the jurors has a prior engagement that was known to the court before the start of the trial. Ogden will complete her testimony on Wednesday.