CA vs. Spector – Spector Speaks – But Lana is Unleashed
Posted by thedarwinexception on August 2, 2007
We start the court today with something new – Phil Spector addressing the court. Mr. Rosen first pleads for permission for Phil to be able to do so. Rosen explains that Linda Kenney Baden is ill – she has an issue with her back – and was so ill this morning that she couldn’t get out of bed. Rosen explains to the court that Spector feels very strongly that court should not go forward without her. Rosen says that Spector has not asked the court’s indulgence before, and that he would like to do so now.
Then Spector himself gets up to ask the court to delay testimony until Linda Kenney Baden can return. Phil speaks in a raspy, low, almost “Goodfella” tone of voice which actually matches his outfit today with the blue shirt and red tie. His comments to the court are interesting in that they give a really good glimpse at the roles of the defense attorneys – at least in Spector’s eyes. He says to the court “I would very much like to have Miss Baden here -she is my point lady, she is the one that is computer savvy and she is the one that explains to me what is going on throughout the trial. She strategically handles the whole defense and she is the only one that I cannot do without. I communicate with her throughout the trial daily and I speak to her for hours at night. I would be at a loss without her. I think that it would be highly prejudicial to proceed without her, and I would be completely naked and at a loss. I’m extremely worried about her – we believe she could have MD or MS – and we have sent her to the finest neurologist in LA”
“I’ve never asked for anything from the court before – even when Bruce Cutler left, because it isn’t the same relationship he oversees the time that he is here, but Miss Baden is really the integral part – she feeds me daily.”
Rosen then interjects that it’s no big secret that Linda Kenney Baden will be arguing part of the closing statements, making it even more crucial that she be present for the testimony – which is laughable, as Bruce Cutler’s seat at the defense table is empty yet again while he’s off pretending to be a judge on some reality show and it’s “no big secret” that he, too, will be arguing part of the closing statements.
Judge Fidler responds to the pleadings by saying that he appreciates Spector’s concerns, but that one has to look at how this trial is progressing overall, and that the defense team is a rather large one. Bruce Cutler was the lead attorney – and that has changed and in his absence Roger Rosen has taken over that burden. Fidler points out that Linda Kenney Baden hasn’t been present for the entire trial, that she has been “in and out” while attending to other case duties and interviewing witnesses, and that the one constant Attorney has been Rosen – he has always been here while testimony is being given and has only absented himself once while doing some “Federal casework”. The bottom line is that it has been the defense’s choice thus far to have attorney’s in and out, and Fidler says that he is quite confident that the witnesses who are to be presented today are to be cross examined by Mr. Rosen – Linda Kenney Baden was not slated to participate, and therefore he is going to deny the defendant’s request to postpone testimony at this time. Fidler then says that he hopes that Miss Baden will make a speedy recovery and swift return to the courtroom, but that if she is still absent when they get to the point that she will be absent for one of the witnesses she was prepared to cross examine, that he would then revisit the issue. But today, Spector is not in a negative position in any way, shape or fashion, and we will proceed.
That being dispensed with, Nick Terzian is back on the stand under direct examination by Alan Jackson. Terzian again describes how Lana would go “above and beyond” what the majority of his clients would do. She would dress the part for any audition, showing up in full feathers and headdress for a part as a showgirl, for example, and he just didn’t see this kind of ambition or dedication in many of his clients. He says that Lana’s booking ratio was higher than his other clients because of her willingness to go above and beyond.
He explains that there are “steps” in the auditioning process – first there is the audition, then there is a callback process, where the client would narrow their choice down to several actors they want to see again. Then there is a “hold” where they narrow the field down even further to their top 2 or 3 choices. After this, there is the actual “booking” of the person that they hire. Terzian says that Lana had a very high callback and hold ratio.
He also says that he used to tell some of his younger clients, those just starting out in the business, that he had a veteran actress who was known for going to auditions completely dressed in character, and that he called this the “Lana Clarkson effect” and he would tell his younger clients when they were going to auditions to “do the Lana Clarkson”.
Jackson then asks what effect Lana Clarkson’s wrist injuries had on her ability to work and Terzian sys that it seized her ability totally. She was unable to drive, unable to go on auditions, and could not work at all. Despite her inability to work throughout most of that year, she still kept in contact with him, keeping him abreast of her progress, which was unusual in his clients. Generally, if they are unable to work for any length of time, he won’t hear from them, but Lana kept in contact with him.
Lana told him that while she was unable to act, she was still keeping busy writing and doing other things. She was still energetic and optimistic, and she took this opportunity to shift gears somewhat and open up to new possibilities and new directions her career could go in. She was realistic about not being able to compete with 20 year old girls, and she was looking at other things, such as voice over work. She also created her own production company “Living Doll Productions”, a venture that few actors do, to open up her horizons.
At the end of October, 2002, she was ready to start going out on auditions again and she was coming out of the “dark period” that had been the whole year as she dealt with her injuries and was pretty much housebound.
Terizan sent her on an audition for a Chesterfield cigarette ad. This was a foreign ad that was to only run in Spain. Out of the 200-400 actors who auditioned for the part, Lana got the job, which paid $1,500.
Terzian said that shortly after this was when Lana came to him and asked his advice on taking the job at the House of Blues. He was hesitant at first, but when Lana explained that it was in the Foundation Room, and that she would be hostessing, not waitressing, he thought it would be a great opportunity, and he agreed with Lana that it would be an ideal way of networking and catching up with some of the producers and industry people in Hollywood, to let them see her again and show them that she was healed and ready to be working again. She had spent the last year housebound, and needed to reconnect with some of her old contacts. The hours were ideal for her, he said, since she would be working nights, leaving her days free to continue going to auditions.
On January 22, 2003, Terzian again sent Lana on an audition for a job. This was a print ad for Siemen’s Mobile. They were doing an ad campaign spoofing the TV show “Dynasty”, and Lana again :did a Lana Clarkson”, and showed up dressed for the part. She was booked for the job on January 31, 2003, and she was very excited to have gotten it. This ad was supposed to shoot on February 8th, 2003.
Jackson then asks about Lana’s love of the the craft of acting, and Terzian says that yes, Lana was very passionate about acting and knew the ups and downs in the business. She never asked for an advance on jobs she was booked for, and she maintained her professional outlook even when she didn’t get a part.
Jackson then has the witness read an email that Lana received from a young up and coming actor named “Carlos.” He asks the witness if this email was consistent with Lana’s outlook, professionalism\m and upbeat attitude and the witness says that yes, this was the Lana he knew.
Carlos wrote to Lana asking her for advice – he wanted to know if Lana thought hat there is ever a “cut off point” at which it is no longer worthwhile to pursue a career in acting.
Good luck with your studies and good for you that you are doing the smart thing and pursuing a degree. In my opinion, you can be an actor at any age. Actors tell stories and the stories of the world are about human beings of all ages. The best advice I can give you is to study the craft of acting. The more you know about your craft, the more likely you are to succeed. There are millions of hopeful actors out there who have no idea what kind of stamina, courage and self-confidence it takes to pursue acting and handle rejection properly. One mustn’t take it personally. I have been working as an actor, studying my craft and continuing to pursue my dreams for many years now. This, contrary to what some would advise. They do not understand my passion and commitment to my art. Don’t ever let anyone discourage you, no matter what! Go for it!!!
On cross examination, the witness is asked if he has ever testified before, when he says “no”, he is asked if the prosecution is paying him as an expert witness regarding the expertise he has acquired over the years in the entertainment industry, and again the witness answer “no”.
Rosen then starts down the path to the bad, bad place. The defense team makes a strategic error almost as bad as the “unrecoverable error” Judge Fidler warned them about when they wanted to call Raul Julia Levy as a witness.
There’s a funny and odd phenomenon in Murder trials. It has to do with the victim. There’s a reason that the State can’t call the victim’s Mamma and Granny and husband. There’s a reason we don’t see 6 year old kids up on the stand crying that “The bad man took Mommy away!” It’s because the jury has to make a decision on the evidence, and the state is not allowed to inflame the juries feelings and arouse their sympathies for the victim. This leads to a rather stark and dreary portrayal of the victim. If the jury sees pictures of the victim at all, they are usually laying on a slab in a morgue. They never get to see home movies of happy Christmas’s or family gatherings. And normally, this is distinctly tot he defense’s advantage, and is not something they elicit on their own. When the defense speaks about the victim, they don’t even use the victim’s name unless they have to.
All of this is in an effort to dehumanize the victim to the jury – yuo don’t want to put a living, breathing,w alking talking image of the victim in front of the peopple who are meant to hold *someone* accountable for their deahts, because your client is the only one sitting in the defense chair – the defense doesn’t want the jury to *like* the victim – and if the defense can “dirty up” the victim in the process, even better, because the more evil you were, the less it matters that you were killed.
Apparently, Rosen had a wedding to attend the day they taught this in “Defense 101”, because all of a sudden he starts asking the witness about the DVD Lana made shortly before she had her accident. The DVD is titled “Lana Unleashed” and was meant as a sort of “video resume” of her comedic talents and ability to morph into different characters, something she could shop around to producers, casting directors and others in the industry to get her away from the “ingénue”, “eye candy” roles she was accustomed to landing and branch out into other areas of the business.
Rosen asks the witness to repeat again that Lana had “comedic talent”, with more than a hint of derision in voice. He then expands the derision to comment “and you say she was one of your top producers?” The witness says that yes, she was.
Rosen then gets back to the DVD and says to the witness – “She put her heart and soul into this, didn’t she? She spent a lot of time and energy on it, and it cost her a lot of money, didn’t it?” The witness responds that yes, she put a lot of time and energy into it, but he doesn’t know what she spent on it.
Rosen asks the witness if he talked to Lana about it, if he was encouraging, and the witness says of course he was, that he was impressed with the characters and the talent and the range she showed.
And then Rosen makes the fatal error – he says to the witness, with all the sarcasm and snarky derision he can muster – “OK, Let’s take a look at this video that you said you were *so* impressed with….”
And he does it – he actually plays the damned DVD. And you know Jackson has *got* to be thinking “How the fuck did I get so lucky??” Because there’s Lana, on the projection screen -smiling, laughing, full of joy and looking vibrant and luminously beautiful. There is no washed up, depressed, suicidal mess that the defense would like to have the jurors believe this woman was – there is a gorgeous woman who seems to be working hard to be successful in her life – and we even get to see parts of her career flash by on the screen as she introduces the DVD by showing some of her past roles.
Not that this tape is some wonderful showcase of a brilliant undiscovered comedic talent, she’s no Mo Collins or Kathy Griffin – and whatever money she spent on it, not a lot went to the audio production, that’s for sure. I mean, my Sony Camcorder would have done a better job on the audio. But that really isn’t the point, is it, as Roger Rosen would have us believe. I guess his only point in showing this tape would be to have the jury say “Oh My God, she was a horrible actress – she took one look at this tape and decided to kill herself.” And maybe she *was* a horrible actress, who knows? Who cares? Even if every single person in that courtroom today that saw that tape thought she was a horrible actress, that DOESN’T MATTER. Because *LANA* didn’t think that. Lana shopped this tape around – she sent it to everyone she could think of – so *SHE* must have liked it and thought it was great – otherwise, why wouldn’t she have just destroyed it and never thought of it again? It was *HER* career – why would she have put it out there unless she believed in it? And if she LIKED the tape and believed in it, why would she be suicidal over it?
So showing the tape to make some point of “Look – She SUCKED at comedy!” is absolutely fucking pointless, and all he got in the meantime was a jury who, if they had forgotten there was a real, live, breathing, beautiful woman in Phil Spector’s house that night, well, they sure do remember it now. And her little vignettes as Barbie and Little Richard, while they probably won’t be winning any Academy Awards, well, they are in stark contrast to those photos of her sitting in a chair dead in Phil Spector’s foyer with a bullet in her head.
And the really, really priceless moment came at the end of this “comedy reel” that Rosen derided so openly. Rosen shows this DVD to highlight the point that Lana wasn’t a comedic actress, then attempts humor himself when the witness asks for a glass of water and Rosen tells him “Let me give you some advice – don’t wear out your welcome by asking for too much water here, Mr. Terzian.” After the witness looks confused and the judge raises an eyebrow, Rosen has to explain himself “It was a joke, you knew I was joking, right? You can have all the water you want.”
Yeah, where’s your fucking comedy reel, Mr. Rosen?
The DVD also has me a little confused about the earlier testimony of the director of that horrible, distasteful play “Brentwood Babes.” He testified that it was “the last few minutes of the DVD” that convinced him to hire Lana for the part of Marilyn Monroe, because that’s when Roger Corman appeared, and the director thought that if he hired Lana, Corman might come and see the play. Well, I don’t know where he was for the first 10 minutes of the DVD, but Corman was in most of that, as well. He was essentially introducing Lana. He didn’t have to wait for the end of the DVD to see Corman.
Rosen goes downhill quickly from here. He must have seen what Beth Karas reported on Court TV – that some of the jurors were laughing, some were smiling, and all seemed to be enjoying seeing Lana while the DVD was playing. He has to know that this has backfired on him in a very bad way.
So now, the video ends, and Rosen turns to the witness and brings out the “big guns” – he asks the witness why it is, if Lana was so concerned that the Chesterfield cigarette ad would only be shown in Spain, and if she was so concerned with her image here in the US that she wanted assurances that the Cigarette ad would not run here – then why is it, Mr. Terzian, that in one of the vignettes on the DVD she was holding a cigarette?
Sweet Baby Zombie Jesus, the man has lost his fucking mind.
Terzian tries repeatedly and exhaustedly to explain the difference between advocating a product and using a product as a prop, but Rosen is so desperate to win *something*, since he now realizes that he’s lost the case, that he argues with him to the point you want to just walk up to him and slap him upside the head.
Rosen then drops the bombshell that although the witness testified that the ad paid $1,500 – Lana didn’t actually *NET* that amount. And the witness shrugged it off like, well, yeah, she paid commission, and she probably paid taxes, but Rosen treats this fact like it was some deliberate lie told by the witness to inflate Lana’s net worth. And now I just *know* that the defense is going to recall that House of Blues attorney and have him testify that Lana didn’t *really* make $9.05 an hour – because – they took TAXES OUT – the lying bastards.
He ends his cross by asking the witness if everyone he represents has some degree of talent. Guess what the answer was.
Outside the presence of the jury Brunon is showing the judge a letter that the prosecution wants to introduce with their next witness. Brunon is objecting to the letter calling it highly prejudicial.
We learn that it is a letter authored by Punkin Pie at Christmastime of 2003.
The judge reads the letter and Brunon argues that the letter is hearsay and innocuous and “just her opinion”. The judge explains that in the letter Pie is taking about her past and lamenting “what a year it’s been – I lost my best friend at the hands of Phil Spector.”
Brunon is saying that the prosecution wants to use this letter to impeach Pie’s earlier testimony, but that the letter doesn’t do that because when asked if she had an opinion about the case she said she didn’t’ know what happened.
The judge says no, that the letter does impeach her earlier testimony because when asked if she said “the bastard should fry” she said she didn’t say that. And the letter also contradicts the heart of her testimony, which was that Lana was suicidal and depressed and on the verge of killing herself.
Brunon says it is a collateral issue – what Pie thinks happened isn’t important, and the judge again disagrees saying that the fact that she thought Lana was suicidal was not a collateral issue.
The judge defers his ruling until he can review Pie’s testimony to see exactly what she said when asked if she had said “the bastard should fry”.
We get back to Terzian, but only for a few moments before the judge asks him to step down and wait out in the hall while they take a witness out of order because she is scheduled to leave the country this evening.
They then swear in Nili Shira Hudson, who is a prosecution rebuttal witness, and identifies herself as Lana’s best friend for 21 years. They met when they were both in their late teens and Lana had moved into a house next door to one of Hudson’s old boyfriends. They became fast friends, and were extremely close up until Lana died, even rooming together several times over the years.
Hudson is a realtor with Coldwell Banker and she said that their careers, while different, had the same sort of ups and downs and required the same tenacity. Lana would get a commercial, Hudson would sell a house, it was a parallel sort of existence and they were each other’s cheering section when things went well and each other’s sounding board when things didn’t.
Hudson explains their relationship and then explains that there came a time when Lana had a change of focus in her career and her life. She no longer could get the “beautiful blonde bombshell” roles and that she shifted to comedy – and this is when Lana got some of her biggest national commercials – she was the Spokesperson for Route 66 Jeans for KMart, did a Budweiser ad and some Mercedes ads, all comedic commercials.
Hudson also states that at the same time as her focus shifted in her career, Lana also shifted focus in her personal life, giving up drinking and partying so often, stopped eating meat and started living healthier and became more spiritual. She also stopped hanging around Punkin Pie so much.
Hudson says that she never heard Lana talk about suicide or ending her life – she says just the opposite – that no matter how bad things got, Lana always got up out of bed every morning without anyone telling her to and went out and did things to make a success of her life. She says Lana believed there were terrific and wonderful opportunities waiting for her around every corner.
Hudson tells the jury what she knew of Lana’s job at House of Blues. She and Lana talked about the job before Lana took it, and Hudson says that Lana was proud that although the House of Blues had never hired a woman for this particular position before, they hired her. She repeats what Terzian says about Lana and the House of Blues – that it was a way for her to reconnect with old contacts.
On the day before Lana died, Hudson and another friend went to Venice Beach – they stopped by Lana’s house because that’s where Hudson always parked when she went to the beach – she had permission from Lana to park in her drive. They noticed Lana was home and knocked on the door to invite her to join them. Lana came out and declined the offer to join Hudson and her friend, and said that she was supposed to go shopping with her mother for some new flat shoes – the new job at House of Blues was making her stand for long periods of time, which she wasn’t used to yet, and she needed more comfortable shoes.
This was the last time Hudson would see Lana alive.
Hudson says that she has never heard of Jennifer Hayes before except in passing – and the most Lana has ever mentioned her was one time when she said “I’m going to help Jennifer with her kids.”
She is asked if she knows who Punkin Pie is, and Hudson says yes, she knows her from the times she has seen her when Hudson was with Lana.
Since we are at the point of introducing the letter Punkin Pie sent out with her Christmas cards, the judge stops the testimony to admonish the jury. He tells them they are going to be shown a letter – and that there is a sentence in this letter that says “My best friend was violently killed by Phil Spector” – the judge tells the jury that this is not being introduced for the truth of the matter – just because this is Punkin’s opinion at the time, it doesn’t mean it is true – only they can decide the truth of the matter, but that it is being used to impeach Pie’s earlier statement when she said “I never said that bastard should fry – I couldn’t have said it, because I never believed it.”
Hudson then reads the letter that was included in the Christmas card – it’s one of those “Here’s what I’ve been doing all year” letters that is included by someone in all the Holiday cards they send. It’s actually rather creepy – and so is the way she signed the card, with a big peace sign, a heart and a child like “U”. She has the penmanship of a kindergartener.
As Hudson reads the letter, we get a complete and diametrically opposed account of the last few months before Lana’s death from Pie than her earlier testimony. On the stand she had said that Lana had recently broken up with someone, that she was despondent and depressed over financial matters, that she was a sobbing mess and that Pie had to talk to her and help her through this time.
In the letter, Pie says that *she* was the one who had recently broken up with the man she thought was going to be her husband, that she was sad and lonely and down and that her “rock” and her “soul”, Lana, had helped her through htis time, that it was “the two of us” during the holidays, and that Lana made her laugh and helped her get healthy and “pretty again” – and I say too bad Jennifer Hayes isn’t helping Pie do this now.
On cross Hudson is asked if Lana drank excessively or did drugs. She answers “no” to both.
She is asked if she has been following the trial – and she says “a little…some, I watched some of the prosecution, but I don’t watch the defense, I watched some of Punkin Pie and some of Jennifer’s – it’s not an easy thing to watch.”
She says she watched about an hour or two of Pie, a little less of Jennifer, and when she is asked why she hasn’t watched the defense, she says “Well, to be honest, it’s the spin of the questions, I just didn’t want to see it.”
When asked if she thinks Spector is guilty, she says “absolutely”, which is stricken, so she explains that “from what I’ve seen, from what I’ve heard, I’ve made an opinion that he is guilty.” When asked if this is influencing her testimony, she says “No, the questions that she has been asked have nothing to do with her feelings, and yes, being biased is one thing, and believing Spector is guilty is one thing, but answering questions in an honest and truthful manner is another thing.”
Hudson is then asked if she is here to “protect Lana’s memory” and she says no.
The deense then goes on to question the witnesses friendship with Lana and her statement that Lana had cut back on drinking and partying and hanging out with Pie. The witness holds up very well, and makes the questions look rather petty. She is shown pictures and asked about two parties Lana was “known” to be at – and Michael Bay is mentioned again, I guess we shall see about that particular party, and Hudson is asked if Lana seems to be still hanging out with Puie and drinking. The witness points out that Lana is not drinking in the picture he is showing her, but yes, she seemed to be hanging with Pie “at least on those nights”.
When Brunon tries to get Hudson to say that Lana was completely and utterly overcome with depression, the witness explains that her mother is manic depressive, and some days could not even get out of bed. Hudson says in no way was this what Lana was experiencing, that Lana’s depression and sadness was situational, that it was tied to her financial worries and career concerns, but that there were other parts of her life that she was totally excited about, and that no matter how sad she got, she still was able to get out of bed in the morning and go to work.
Brunon then asks about the “DVD” and whether or not it sold. Hudson was not aware that it was ever for sale, and Rosen seems to be confusing some memorabilia DVD’s and this DVD, and there is no getting him to let go of it.
He then gets into the subject of one of Lana’s last boyfriend’s – L.B. Moon, or “the cowboy” as Lana sometimes referred to him. Brunonagain tries to joke that “the cowboy left the corral, right?” and tried to insinuate that this devastated Lana. Hudson downplays the heartbreak over this guy, and she keeps insisting that she “just would not characterize it that way – that Lana had hoped something might work out between them, but there were things about him that made her realize that he was probably not a candidate for anything long term.
Brunon has her read a letter Lana wrote either to or about this guy, and Lana is expressing hurt and anger at the man. Hudson agrees that Lana felt this way,but that she wasn’t hurt over the loss of the relationship as much as she was mad at him for promises he made and didn’t keep.
Hudson is then asked “You didn’t know all of the friends in her life, did you?” And Hudson says she knew the significant ones. And Brunon is quick to say “Well, you didn’t know Jennifer Hayes!” And Hudson snaps back – “If she was significant, I would have known of her.” Brunon then asks “Did you know of a lady named Gibson?”
There is an immediate objection and an immediate sustaining of the objection – and everyone goes to sidebar.
When we come back from sidebar, Brunon asks if Lana ever reported to her Hudson that she saw ghosts in the house on Beverly Glenn. If she ever said the place was haunted. Another objection, and another sustained.
Brunon tries to rehabilitate Pie a little bit by asking the witness if Lana’s friends were angry after her death, and if, after the anger subsided, they were more ready to have all the facts come out. The witness says that she never talked to Pie after the memorial services, so she really doesn’t know, and Brunon says “Well, you got this letter a year later” and the witness says she never responded to the letter.
Dixon has a short but sweet re-direct – he asks the witness to read a differnet part of that letter to “the cowboy” – the part where Lana says “I am crazy busy – my career is about to break wide open.” Dixon says “So, she was not that broke up over this guy, and she was sitll happy and optomistic with her caeer, wasnt she?” Hudson smiles, says, “exactly” and looks a little wistful.
And then the witness is excused and she’s off to Fiji, lucky bitch. But I’m happy for her and wish her a happy and safe time. I liked her, and I’m glad Lana had her in her life.
And reportedly Michael Bay will be in court Monday afternoon. The showing of the Spector property for the lawyers and court is Monday morning – no court. Then there is no court on Tuesday. Wednesday is the next full day of testimony.