Three months after pistol-packing record producer Phil Spector bragged that he was in the clear, cops said yesterday they have proof he fatally shot a B-movie actress in his suburban Los Angeles mansion.
That evidence has been handed over to prosecutors, who will decide next week whether to charge the rock Svengali with a crime, Sheriff’s Deputy Scott Butler said.
“The charges we are looking at would be anything from second-degree murder to manslaughter,” Butler said. “They are not saying it was an accident. If it were deemed accidental, evidence would not have been gathered.”
Sandi Gibbons, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office, said a decision on the charges would be announced next week.
There was no immediate reaction from Spector, who remains free on $1 million bail – and who boasted in a June E-mail to pals that he had been cleared of Lana Clarkson’s death.
“We hate to use the words, ‘I told you so,’ but I did tell you so,” he wrote. “After seven weeks of silence, we can say with certainty, this will speak for itself, and boy does it speak volumes! Loud and clear to the world.”
Investigators declined to detail their evidence against the Bronx-born wunderkind whose innovative wall-of-sound style revolutionized rock music and turned the Ronettes and the Righteous Brothers into hit makers.
Clarkson, 41, the sexy star of cult movies such as “Barbarian Queen” and “Amazon Women on the Moon,” was found dead early Feb. 3 in the foyer of Spector’s mansion in Alhambra, Calif. A handgun was found nearby.
Clarkson, who was trying to revive her flagging career, had met Spector a few hours earlier at a Sunset Strip club where she was working as a hostess.
Spector told Esquire magazine in June that Clarkson was drunk when she met him and killed herself when she got to his castlelike home.
“She kissed the gun,” said Spector, 62. “I have no idea why – never knew her, never even saw her before that.”
He also said that if cops could prove otherwise, “I’d be sitting in jail right now.”
But Spector was known to be a gun collector and had been accused of pulling guns on people in the past. And Alhambra police responding to a 911 call knocked Spector out with a Taserlike device before taking him into custody.
Also, Clarkson’s co-workers at the House of Blues contradicted Spector’s statement that she was drunk. So have friends, who said Clarkson was not suicidal – or a drinker.