While living in New York, Dorothy Melvin, Joan Rivers’s manager, dated Phil Spector from about 1989 or 1990 until 1993.
On July 3, 1993, Melvin, who was seeing her family in the Los Angeles area, visited Spector at his home in Pasadena. In the course of the evening, Spector drank a lot of vodka from a “somewhat full” bottle, becoming increasingly talkative and outgoing, laughing and quoting.
Later that evening, Spector went away for a period of time. At about midnight or 1:00 a.m., Melvin lay down on the couch and fell asleep for several hours. Melvin awoke before daybreak, looked out the open front door, and saw Spector pointing a .38 snub-nose revolver at her brand-new car in the circular motor court. She moved to within a foot of Spector and started screaming, “What the [fuck] do you think you’re doing?” At this time, Melvin was angry, not afraid, believing that it was just “another one of his shows of bravado.” Spector turned and said over his shoulder, “Get back in the house.” Melvin kept jumping around and screaming at Spector. Spector backhanded her right temple with the gun in his right hand. He said, “I told you to get the ‘F’ into the house.”
Melvin stood next to the front door while Spector sat down on the stairs going through Melvin’s purse. Spector accused Melvin of looking for things to steal and sell. He also told her to take her clothes off and go to the third floor. She was sobbing and repeatedly asking him why he was doing this. While rummaging through Melvin’s purse, Spector sometimes pointed the gun at her and other times pointed it up or at the floor.
At some point, after Melvin would not take her clothes off, Spector said, “I told you to take your [fucking] clothes off.” His right hand holding the gun, Spector again backhanded her right temple and then returned to the stairs. Melvin was terrified, afraid for her safety; still sobbing, she took off her bright pink jacket. Spector asked Melvin to throw the jacket to him. Spector found a lipstick in her purse and asked her what it was. Throughout this exchange, Spector always used profanity when he talked and did not answer her repeated questioning about why he was doing this.
While Melvin was sobbing, Spector said “to get the [fuck] out.” Melvin said, “You have my keys. They’re in my jacket pocket.” Spector threw the keys at Melvin, who ran out of the house. Melvin got into the car and drove down the driveway to leave but the gate was closed. As Melvin sat in her car with the gate closed, Spector ran down the driveway holding a pump-action shotgun. When Melvin heard the pump of the shotgun, she felt more terrified. Spector screamed at Melvin menacingly, “I told you to get the [fuck] out of here,” and Melvin screamed back, “The gate won’t open.” Spector approached her on the driver’s side. Spector stopped and said, in a quizzical way, “Gate won’t open?” Melvin noticed another “personality change” in Spector at that moment. Crying, she again said, “The gate won’t open.” Spector said, “Well, I’m going to go back and open it.” Spector ran back into the house, the gate opened, and Melvin drove away.