Phil Spector Was Demonic Boozehound, Ex-Girlfriend Testifies

LOS ANGELES -- A woman who dated Phil Spector for four years testified Tuesday in his murder retrial that liquor transformed the legendary music producer into "a demon."

Dorothy Melvin, who manages comedian Joan Rivers, told jurors that she enjoyed Spector's company and thought he was "a charmer" when he was "outside of these maniacal episodes."

"But when he's drinking, he loses it and becomes a demon," Melvin said.

But she testified she tolerated his bizarre behavior and that his use of foul language was typical of the entertainment industry, saying "in those days I used it, too."

Melvin is the second of the prosecution's witnesses to testify. A security guard earlier told jurors that Melvin summoned him to eject Spector from two of Rivers' Christmas parties for brandishing a gun.

She corroborated that account Tuesday after the judge permitted her testimony on that point, which she had not mentioned at Spector's first trial.

Spector is being retried on charges of murdering 40-year-old actress Lana Clarkson, who was shot through the mouth in Spector's mansion in 2003. The jury in Spector's first trial deadlocked last year on a 10-2 vote with the majority favoring conviction on second-degree murder.

The defense is alleging that a despondent Clarkson shot herself, while the prosecution is seeking to show Spector has a pattern of violent behavior with women.

Melvin also testified that Spector once chased some young people with a gun because they had mistaken him for actor Dudley Moore.

Prosecutors then played phone messages Spector left for Melvin in which he apologizes for striking her with a gun and chasing her down the driveway of his house with a shotgun in 1993. But he warns: "Be very careful what you say to me because nothing you say is worth your life."

After the incident, she said she saw Spector only in the company of other people.

"I didn't want to be alone with Phil again," she said. "I thought he was dangerous."

Court recessed early to allow jurors to vote in Tuesday's general election.

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