Phil Spector documentary gets OK from killer's son

Fri Aug 20, 2010 4:13am EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - One of Phil Spector's sons has praised a documentary that depicts the convicted homicidal music producer as a sociopath and a narcissist.

The film, "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Phil Spector," is based on a 3-1/2-hour interview conducted for the BBC before the music icon's first trial for murdering a struggling actress at his mansion in 2003.

A witty Spector regales director Vikram Jayanti with the stories behind his biggest productions, such as the Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" and Ike and Tina Turner's "River Deep Mountain High."

Complete versions of 21 songs that Spector produced are often played over courtroom footage, sometimes with chilling effect such as when John Lennon's "Woman is the Nigger of the World" accompanies testimony relating to his victim, Lana Clarkson.

But for the most part, Spector considers himself a lifelong victim, abandoned by a father who committed suicide, bullied at school, and disrespected by the music industry.

Jayanti said following a screening in Hollywood on Thursday that he frequently got the sense from Spector that 40-year-old Clarkson "had come into his house and ruined his life" by dying of a gunshot blast through the mouth.

Spector claimed Clarkson committed suicide, the first jury was deadlocked, but a second jury found him guilty of second-degree murder last year. Now 70, he is serving a sentence of 19 years to life in California.

Spector's 44-year-old son Louis was among those in the audience at the Egyptian Theater, and he told Jayanti that he appreciated the movie.

"It touched me, it moved me and it was a real experience that I quite enjoyed, and I love the respect that you gave Lana Clarkson on her behalf and the respect you gave to my father," he said to applause and to Jayanti's apparent relief.   Continued...

<p>Mug shot photo of inmate Phillip Spector, music producer, dated June 5, 2009 and released by the Calfironia Department of Corrections June 10, 2009. The photos show Spector without his wigs, worn during his trial. Spector was received by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on June 5, 2009 from Los Angeles County with a 19-year sentence for second-degree murder, in the death of actress Lana Clarkson. Spector is being held at North Kern State Prison, a reception center in Kern County, California where housing determinations are made for inmates. REUTERS/California Department of Corrections/Handout</p>