Wednesday, August 24, 2011

#275: Da Do Ron Ron - Phil Spector's Greatest Hits - Number 6

In about April 1994, Stephanie Jennings, a professional photographer with a focus in the music business, began a long-distance dating relationship with Phil Spector. Jennings lived in Philadelphia but had an agency in New York City while Spector’s primary residence was Pasadena. When Spector was around Jennings, he frequently carried guns on his person.

On January 12, 1995, from about 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m., Jennings was Spector’s guest at an after-party at the Waldorf Astoria for a Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductee award dinner. Spector was drinking and unpleasant, making obnoxious statements; this change in demeanor was something that Jennings had seen before. The drunker Spector got, the louder, more obnoxious, and more unpleasant he became.

After the party, Jennings took a taxi back to Spector’s hotel by herself, went to her room, and fell asleep. Later, between about 3:00 and 4:00 a.m., Spector’s bodyguard woke her up with a knock on her hotel room door. The bodyguard said that Spector wanted her to come join him in his room. Jennings said that she was sleeping and would see Spector the following day.

After the bodyguard left, Jennings went back to bed. Spector knocked at the door and said that he wanted Jennings to come join him in his suite. She responded that she was sleeping and would see him the following day. Angry, yelling, Spector insisted that she come to his suite.

Spector said that he was paying for her hotel room and that if she did not come to his suite, she would have to leave and pay for her own room. Jennings said then she would pack her bags, pay for the room herself, and leave.  Spector came into Jennings’s hotel room and they continued arguing about her refusal to go to his suite. As Jennings moved about the hotel room packing, Spector followed and yelled at her. Threatened by Spector’s anger, Jennings was upset and crying, trying to figure out how to get out of the situation. She started to pack in the bathroom, and the argument got more heated. Spector came into the bathroom and pushed or slapped Jennings, causing her to fall backwards onto the toilet. Jennings rose quickly and pushed Spector backwards. He fell into the bathtub, the shower curtain coming down. Angry, Spector sprung up and left the hotel room.

After Spector left the hotel room, Jennings finished packing all her bags, still upset and crying. Spector came back into the hotel room. He pulled a chair in front of the door and sat down, blocking the exit. Spector had a small handgun in his hand and still appeared angry. At times, Spector was waving the gun and pointing it in no particular direction, and other times he pointed the gun in Jennings’s direction.

Jennings was more frightened than before because Spector had brought a gun into the situation. Jennings could not leave the hotel room because Spector was holding her at gunpoint. She sat on the bed, crying, and asked Spector to let her leave. She said that she would go to the front desk, leave her bags there, pay for the room, and then “that would be it, the situation would be over.” Agitated, Spector would not allow Jennings to leave. Still holding her at gunpoint, Spector said that Jennings could go pay for the room but that she should leave her bags there and could not take them out of the room.

Jennings picked up the telephone and, at 6:23 a.m., dialed 911 because she believed that this situation was dangerous to her life and that she needed help.  At 6:27 a.m., police officers were dispatched to the scene.  With the 911 operator still on the line, Spector left the room.

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