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Exclusive interview: Phil Spector's wife

June 3, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Phil Spector's wife, Rachelle, sat down for an exclusive interview with ABC7.Twenty-nine-year-old Rachelle Spector stood by her husband, 69-year-old Phil Spector, during his murder trial. A gag order prevented her from speaking out about the case. Now that he's been sentenced, she's telling their story.

Rachelle was fuming during the trial. She said someone needed to respond to the character assassination of her husband. The judge, worried about tainting the case, threatened her with contempt for speaking to the media. Now she speaks openly.

Rachelle Short was 26 and Phil Spector was 66 when they married. Rachelle married Spector after he had been arrested for the shooting death of Lana Clarkson.

"I didn't marry my husband, or date my husband, for his money, because at this point our resources have dwindled down to almost nothing," said Rachelle.

"Just because you're accused of something -- and even at the point when I did meet him, he wasn't arraigned, he wasn't charged, nothing. So you are innocent until proven guilty, and unfortunately, during this whole trial he was tried in the court of public opinion versus the courtroom," said Rachelle.

She lives alone now in the couple's 35-room mansion museum.

"This was one of John Lennon's favorite guitars," said Rachelle, displaying some of the items in the home. "It was used in the concert in Bangladesh and was given to Philip by Yoko Ono."

Wedding pictures are arranged in the foyer, where a single gunshot inside the mouth killed Lana Clarkson. An accident, says Rachelle, but prosecutors harped on her husband's history.

"They didn't want people to know that his DNA was not on the gun," said Rachelle. "No gunshot residue, no fingerprints on that gun, and he was wearing white, thank God, that evening. So I mean, where was the blood spatter?"

Phil Spector's chauffeur gave testimony that he heard Spector say, "I think I killed somebody."

"If you're going to shoot somebody, why would you just walk outside and tell somebody that you just did that?" asked Rachelle.

Rachelle is running his businesses on her own now, but is buried in debt. There are legal fees from two trials. In an upcoming civil trial Clarkson's family will try to claim what's left.

"My husband's pretty tapped out at this point, to where we're going to have to take out other loans to afford to pay for the appeal process," said Rachelle. "My main focus is the appeal and getting him home where he belongs."

Rachelle says she visits her husband in jail the maximum amount she is allowed.

No date has been set for an appeals hearing for Spector.

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