May 10,2007 00:00
LOS ANGELES - Trying to show a pattern of violence that ended with murder, prosecutors called on two women who dated Phil Spector to testify Wednesday that the acclaimed rock 'n' roll producer threatened them with guns when they wanted to leave him.
Photographer Stephanie Jennings and former waitress Melissa Grosvenor were the third and fourth women to testify in Spector's murder trial about how the pop music legend could be witty and charming but quickly turn vicious.
Prosecutors contend that Spector's conduct in these incidents fits their theory of how he shot actress Lana Clarkson, 40, in his mansion's foyer on Feb. 3, 2003. In police photographs of Clarkson, a leopard-print purse is slung over her shoulder as if she were preparing to head out the door.
Grosvenor, who lived in New York when she dated Spector in 1991, told jurors she was visiting him at his former home in Pasadena after they had dinner at a restaurant. His demeanor darkened when she told him she wanted to return to her hotel.
"He walked up, held the gun to my face between my eyes and said, 'If you try to leave, I'm going to kill you,'" she testified.
Grosvenor said Spector was speaking wildly and she was "scared." But amid Spector's threats, she somehow fell asleep, she said.
Spector woke her later. He said nothing of his threats and she was afraid to mention it, she said. She returned to New York later that day.During a brief cross-examination, which is set to continue Thursday, Spector lawyer Roger Rosen noted that Grosvenor was convicted in 1989 of embezzlement when she worked at Georgia bank.
Earlier, jurors heard from Jennings, a Philadelphia-based photographer who dated Spector in the mid-1990s until an early-morning incident in 1995 after they attended Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction festivities in New York.
Spector came to her hotel suite "definitely drunk," demanding that she go to his room, Jennings said. They argued and she started to pack her things. At one point, he struck her, she shoved him and he fell into a bathtub.
Spector left but returned holding a handgun and blocked the door to her suite. With Spector still in the room, she called 911.
Police came, Spector left and Jennings was able to leave the hotel.
But under cross-examination, Rosen grilled Jennings about statements she previously made to detectives, including that she continued to see Spector and that she did not feel threatened by him. Rosen also had Jennings acknowledged that she was paid $1,000 by the National Enquirer for an interview and photographs after Clarkson's death.