Madam Interrupts Spector Murder Trial

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 26, 2005

LOS ANGELES – A well-known madam made a surprise appearance at Phil Spector’s murder trial Wednesday and the judge ordered her to keep quiet about anything related to shooting victim Lana Clarkson or the case.

Jody “Babydol” Gibson, blond hair falling to her waist and wearing an extremely short mini skirt suit with a plunging neckline, appeared before Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler, who has ruled that for now the defense may not call her as a witness.

Gibson, who was convicted in 2000 of pimping, would claim that Clarkson worked for her. The prosecution contends that an entry in her “black book” would be used to support the claim is a forgery.

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With jurors sent out of the courtroom, Gibson and her attorney argued that she should be allowed to talk to the press and promote an upcoming book about her life.

The judge said she remained a potential witness, and all witnesses have been ordered to not talk to the media.

“Especially because your testimony at this point is inadmissible,” he added, “it would be nothing but an attempt in my view to influence the jury. Even though they are under an order not to read articles, the possibility exists that they do.”

Spector, 67, is accused of shooting Clarkson in the mouth on Feb. 3, 2003, after she went home with him from her job as a nightclub hostess. Clarkson, 40, was a struggling actress most famous for her role in the 1985 cult film “Barbarian Queen.”

The courtroom confrontation, which interrupted testimony by a defense forensic expert on blood spatter, was sparked by Gibson’s decision to send e-mails to the press denouncing the court for keeping her off the witness stand.

She told the judge her objective “was never to disrespect the court,” but she thought she had been completely excused.

The judge sternly told her: “You may not in any way, shape, form, touch upon, come close to, or talk about Lana Clarkson or anything dealing with the Phil Spector case. Other than that you’re free to talk about what you want,” he said, warning that she could be held in contempt.

During the appearance, Spector attorney Roger Rosen told the judge the defense did not intend to call Gibson because of his earlier ruling against her testimony.

The judge interrupted and said his ruling was that unless Spector testified and his testimony touched on Gibson, she would be irrelevant.

“Are you saying Mr. Spector is not going to testify?” asked the judge.

“I am not prepared to make that statement at this time,” Rosen said.

“If Mr. Spector testifies, her testimony might become relevant,” the judge said.

Rosen noted that the defense had given the court material outlining information Gibson could provide about Clarkson, but that the judge had ruled it out.

Fidler said he had received material and had placed it under seal. He has said her testimony would not only be prejudicial, but would be hurtful to Clarkson’s family.

Also Wednesday, blood spatter expert James Pex supported defense claims that authorities conducted a shoddy crime scene investigation.

Pex, retired director of the Oregon State Police Crime Lab, pointed to an overhead photo of Clarkson’s body slumped in a chair in Spector’s foyer with multiple technicians around her.

“There are so many people in this crime scene,” he said, noting that none wore protective booties.

“Liquid blood dries and when you walk on it you are going to transport it,” he said, adding that it could also be ground into the carpet.

He also faulted sheriff’s criminalists for using a chemical which illuminates blood that may not be visible to the naked eye. Pex said the chemical, Luminol, is effective only in situations where someone has been dragged or a scene has been cleaned with water. He said it is not useful in finding tiny blood spatter.

A service of the Associated Press(AP)