June 11, 2009

Phil Spector's new look

Posted: 08:03 AM ET

BOSTON, Massachusetts–When Court TV (now In Session) televised Phil Spector’s first trial in 2007, I reported from outside the downtown Los Angeles County courthouse for five months. The trial ended in a mistrial on September 26, when the jury deadlocked 10 to 2 in favor of conviction. In the retrial that ended two months ago, a new jury convicted Spector of the second-degree murder of actress Lana Clarkson. He is now serving a life sentence in state prison, eligible for parole after 19 years.

Phil Spector photographed after arriving last week at the North Kern State Prison Reception Center in Delano, CA

The recent release by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation of Spector’s photo sans hair piece reminds me of an incident during that first trial.

Week 11 (and day 29) of the trial started on Monday, July 9, 2007. There had been no court the previous week to give everyone a break during the Fourth of July holiday after nearly three months of trial.

Everyone was rested and ready to resume but the buzz started as soon as Spector arrived with his new hairstyle. Until that day, he sported a blond page-boy cut. But on July 9th, he showed up with a darker, longer, shaggy hairdo. It was a striking change, reminiscent of Marcia Clark changing her hair during O.J. Simpson’s murder trial. It was also well-known that, for years, Spector had worn hairpieces and that he was quite sensitive about his baldness.

Throughout that week, anchors at Court TV asked me about Spector’s new look and I would comment that it appeared to be a new hairpiece. By Thursday, July 12, Spector’s wife, Rachelle, was fed up with the commentary. That afternoon, during a court break, she pulled me aside in the hall and scolded me for misreporting that her husband wore a hairpiece. I asked: “If it’s not a hairpiece, then what is it?” She replied: “It’s HIS hair, it’s his HAIR.” I was stupefied. Was I wrong?

I always correct myself if someone points out an error. So, I decided to dig further. I asked the DAs on the case if they knew whether he wore a hairpiece. They told me detectives described a large closet full of styrofoam heads donning hairpieces they discovered during a search of Spector’s mansion. Also, I recalled at least one of his former female friends testifying about the bandana he would wear to bed after removing his hair.

The next day, I did report my conversation with Rachelle but, like most trial observers, I always believed he wore hairpieces. With the newly-released photo of Spector in prison, I know I was right all along.

–Beth Karas, In Session correspondent

Filed under: Uncategorized

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Spider   June 11th, 2009 9:07 am ET


This is a young wife defending her older, rather eccentric, husband.

It is HIS hair. He bought it. He paid for it. Considering it's Phil Spector, he probably shaved it off a Schnauzer himself.

CC   June 11th, 2009 12:50 pm ET

Wifey lying about Spector's hair just proves that she's capable of lying, so what else has she lied about?! She can carry on and stir people up with her rants but the truth is, Spector's where he belongs and his former fortune will go to the lawyers. He was guilty as sin, and anyone who defends or feels sorry for him is completely deluded. He's where he belongs, without the wigs, platform heels and other things meant to hide who he really is: a wimpy little woman-hating guy who killed some poor innocent woman. He was "somebody" once, but those days are long, long gone.

Jeanette In Woodbridge, VA   June 11th, 2009 12:54 pm ET

Beth you are always right and there was no biological explanation for his other 'do's BUT wigs...........

Spike in Wisconsin   June 11th, 2009 1:09 pm ET

I vividly remember that discussion with Rachelle and I was with you on that one Beth. There is NO way I was buying her story. As I look at the recent pics I now know why he wears those creepy things – to hide his even creepier skull.

Is it possible she really didn't know? Possibly... clearly she's no rocket scientist.

Eeeeeeek! I just took another peek.

dino   June 11th, 2009 1:21 pm ET

so what's the big deal ? Women wear them and no one makes fun of them.

Why does our society mock men who wear hairpieces ?

Cynthia Wetherill   June 11th, 2009 1:25 pm ET

I have no doubt he killed poor Lana, never did. It's wonderful and a good laugh to see him w/o those ugly pieces. Disgusting!


Rick   June 11th, 2009 1:53 pm ET

Ms. Karas,
I appreciate your reporting during these trials and respect you as a journalist.
But, with all due respect....concerning his hair, or lack of it....WHO CARES???? This is not news...certainly nothing more than a comment in passing during this whole ordeal was more than enough to make a point. Famous or not, the frequent references about his hair during the coverage of his trial turned an otherwise very professional coverage of the trial to something less for those who follow legal preceedings for educational purposes and not for entertainment or amusement.
Thank you for allowing my comment and as I said, I DO respect your professionalism and keep up the good work!!!
BTW,,,,the jury got it RIGHT this time.

Lolly In Ohio   June 11th, 2009 2:16 pm ET

Beth, I thought of you and that conversation with Rachelle as soon as I saw Phil's DOC photo. Rachelle obviously never considered that this type of photo could and would be taken in the future.

dora   June 11th, 2009 2:31 pm ET

he looks real good. none of his hairpieces made him look so good. too bad he hide himself.

lauratheresa   June 11th, 2009 3:46 pm ET

Phil must be feeling "FREE" without the burden of his hairpiece...Beth karas always reports truthfully & honesty.Rachelle,keep standing by your man but stand honestly whether it be about hair or not.

Soda   June 11th, 2009 3:55 pm ET

Hi Beth;

I too thought of your conversation with dear Rachelle the second I saw his mug shot! We all knew he was wearing wigs, so why LIE about it Rachelle? See, that's the point, she was lying, and it has nothing to do with the fact that men wear them all the time. If I remember correctly she went on to say to you that she styled his hair herself that morning, therefore she knew it was his real hair. Rachelle wasn't telling the truth, clearly.

Didn't he also request the privilege of wearing a skull cap in prison for religious reasons? Guess that didn't pan out for him either.

So does she keep the mansion and all his money?
I'm sure she will wait 19 years for him... at least 18.5 years anyway.

God bless Lana's family and may Lana now rest in eternal peace.
Justice for Lana!

Kenneth Jackson in GA   June 11th, 2009 4:03 pm ET

It's no secret that the big hair that looked like a big peice of tumble weed, that he styled in the first trial, was clearly a BIG wig.

Brett   June 11th, 2009 4:05 pm ET

Like anybody really thought that twit had hair. He's been a wig-a-rama for years.

Mike   June 11th, 2009 6:53 pm ET

I think the new look for Phil is great as it shows his true look of an idiot who thought he was smarter then the law, and believed that everyone was a sucker. Guessing he was wearing a hair piece was a good choice as we also had that idea that he did too. He will live like a normal convict now rather then a high society ego driven short man. I wish you all the best Phil, and can only hope your wigs make it as long as you do behind bars. Then again they are free to roam, your not!!

Rhonda   June 12th, 2009 1:16 am ET

I'm glad that Lana finally got the verdict that was deserved her. No girl-pal of mine ever grabs their purse until leaving as myself it's an extension of us, so that aside, he had to be seen for the fake, lying disgusting little man he is. After LANAS' family gets the civil suit much deserved and then I hope the son's get something the state where he adopted them through should be looked at!!! They were his victim's for too long!! It seems they had their boyhood and much more stole from them!!! SHAME, on the adults that knew they existed, but did'nt help. That speaks volumes about his money. Beth, you are GREAT, I watched all the reporting you did on this case, exceptional work. The wife, who truly knows how she feels, but I do beleive his daughter loves her dad, as do the sons' I hope they to find peace in life that they deserve, but MONEY can't buy LOVE, RESPECT, or REAL FRIENDS'. In jail at least women can now be safe, possibly?

Siegbert Tarrasch   June 12th, 2009 10:54 am ET

omg it's Riff-Raff.

donna morgan   June 12th, 2009 5:24 pm ET pretty much always have it right. I enjoy your following all these interesting trials. I hope you never quit.

j. renee   June 15th, 2009 2:04 am ET

How in the world did you even keep a straight face talkng to wifey, Rachael? Did'nt I hear you or Ashleigh say one day during the trial that Rachael was the daughter of his secretary?
She better thank God, everyday, he was put away before he did to her what he did to Lana!!! Good job Beth, as usual.

Spectorfan8   June 15th, 2009 10:05 am ET


It is nice that you set yourself right. So, the man wore hair pieces. Rachelle stated that it as his hair. Of course it was his. Like stated above. He bought it, he wore it, making it his.
We should be more concerned with how Phillip Spector was accused and sent to prison for a crime that he did not commit.
That is where the focus should be.

Spider   June 16th, 2009 2:45 pm ET


"We should be more concerned with how Phillip Spector was accused and sent to prison for a crime that he did not commit."

You forgot one thing. He was accused and sent to prison, yes, But somewhere in between those two things, he was fairly tried (twice) and convicted by a jury of his peers. He lived, made a lot of money and developed an extremely weird persona within our system. He can now pay the price for his actions, as our system dictates.

Life is good, life is fair.
At least in this particular circumstance.

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