Phil Spector Discusses Actress's Murder

updated 06/05/2003 at 12:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/05/2003 11:09AM

In his first interview since his February arrest, legendary -- and reclusive -- record producer Phil Spector denies that he killed an actress who was found dead at his mansion, telling Esquire magazine that Lana Clarkson shot herself after picking up a bottle of tequila.

"She kissed the gun. I have no idea why," Spector, 62, says in the article. "I never knew her, never even saw her before that night. I have no idea who she was or what her agenda was." He also said that he had no idea where she got the gun.

Explaining the producer's remarks, Esquire writer-at-large Scott Raab told the Associated Press that he believed "kissed the gun" was not to be taken literally and actually was supposed to mean that Clarkson, who was shot in the face, shot herself.

Spector was arrested in his Los Angeles-area mansion on Feb. 3 for investigation of murder in connection with Clarkson's death, and was released after posting $1 million bail. He has not been charged and authorities say they are still investigating.

In March, a sheriff's statement said investigators had ruled out suicide as a possible cause of death.

In the article, Spector says Clarkson was "loud and drunk" before they left the House of Blues club in Hollywood, where she worked as a hostess. "She asked me for a ride home. Then she wanted to see the castle."

Once inside his home, he says, "She grabbed a bottle of tequila from the bar to take with her. I was not drunk. I wasn't drunk at all. There is no case. She killed herself."

Proclaiming his innocence and suggesting he's being framed, Spector also says, "I didn't do anything wrong. ... If they had a case, I'd be sitting in jail right now."

Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the district attorney's office, told AP she could not comment on the article or the case due to the pending investigation.

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