The Darwin Exception

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CA vs. Spector – Elmer Fudd and Navy Grog

Posted by thedarwinexception on May 14, 2007

Phil Spector arrived at court this morning with, as usual, his new young wife in tow. But today he also brought along his mother in law and his daughter. His daughter Nicole is his only surviving biological child, he also has three sons who were adopted. Nicole had a twin brother who died of leukemia when he was 9 years old. Louis, one of the adopted sons of Phil Spector, was in the courtroom the first day of opening statements. Unlike this morning, when Nicole stepped out of Spector’s limo arm in arm with Phil, Phil did not acknowledge Louis’s presence in the courtroom.

Kathy Sullivan is cross examined. It is brief. Basically she is asked if Spector was what she would describe as “drunk” on the evening in question, she is asked how many times she had ever been out with him and how many times she had ever seen him drinking or drunk, and she is asked how she would describe their relationship. Sullivan says that Spector wasn’t drunk the night in question, she had never even really seen him drinking before, and that their relationship was one of “friends” – “not even close” to dating.

On re-direct Alan Jackson starts asking Sullivan some seemingly innocuous questions regarding her relationship with Spector when suddenly she offers that her and her friend “Suzanne” once spent the night at Spector’s house in Alhambra – the same place Clarkson would later be found dead. Jackson follows up on this line of questioning and she begins to tell the story of when she and her friend left in the morning -and how Phil came down the stairs with a gun.

There is a flurry of objections, a sidebar and the jury is ushered out of the room. The judge wants to hear what this witness will offer outside the presence of the jury before he rules on whether or not he will allow the witness to talk about this incident.

She is questioned outside the presence of the jury by both sides, and the judge, and the judge rules that her testimony is admissible, not for the “pattern of behavior” but to counter the defense’s story that Phil is “a good guy” except for when he is drinking. This testimony reveals that he doesn’t have to be drunk to start pulling his guns out.

So the jury files back in and Kathy Sullivan finishes the story she began before the defense objected.

She says that one night in 1997 or 1998, she and “Suzanne” went to Spector’s mansion to show him their “still in development lounge act”. The rehearsal went late, they had a lot to drink and the women ended up spending the night at the Castle. Next morning, she says, they were in the foyer preparing to leave when Spector disappeared for what seemed like a long time. When he returned, he had a long gun – either a rifle or a shotgun – pointed down at his side.

“What the hell is that for?” Sullivan asked. “Protection,” Spector replied. He then walked her and the friend to their car and they drove off.  She says that the gun made her nervous, but the scene made her laugh. Spector was wearing a plaid jacket and the gun was almost as tall as he. “He looked like Elmer Fudd,” she said, prompting a roar of laughter from the jury box.

She is then allowed to leave, and the next two witnesses are employees from Trader Vic’s, there to interpret the drink tabs and explain the boring details of line items, time stamps, what the tip amount was and what the hell a “Navy Grog” is and whether or not the drink is weaker as the ice melts. (Sounds like an AFCA thread.) It was testified to that a “Navy Grog” has 3 ounces of rum, and is one of the more “potent” drinks served at Trader Vic’s. Spector had two of them, as well as 4 daiquiris, a couple of shots of rum, and whatever psychotropic drugs he was on at the time, which hasn’t been testified to, but has been alluded to in opening statements.

Tomorrow we are expecting the limo driver’s testimony – Adriano DeSouza.


2 Responses to “CA vs. Spector – Elmer Fudd and Navy Grog”

  1. anna smith said

    The “mother-in-law” is often in court. He has two surviving sons, both adopted, abused, and disowned; one has been in court a couple of times, and Spector completely ignores him, not a hint of recognition. The daughter has not been to the trial, as far as I know, until today. She is quite pretty.

  2. anna smith said

    The drugs are mentioned more specifically in his deposition related to his lawsuit against Robert Shpairo, his first attorney. Shapiro, no longer involved in court action, recalls seeing the evidence that Henry Lee allegedly denied and destroyed.

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