Inside Ronnie Spector’s dark marriage to murderer Phil Spector

So far as purple flags go, Ronnie Spector’s tumultuous marriage to Phil Spector was the most important and reddest of all of them.

Phil was convicted within the 2003 homicide of actress Lana Clarkson and died in prison last year. However earlier than he was tried for the grisly crime, the connection between the producer and his teenage protégé was marred by brutality, sick management and twisted love. And it finally wound up changing into a chilling harbinger of the violence to come.

Ronnie, the bad-girl vocalist of ’60s rock group the Ronettes, died Wednesday at 78 following a short battle with most cancers. However within the years previous her loss of life, the musician was open about her traumatic relationship with Phil, who first signed her band in 1963.

Photo of Phil Spector w/Ronnie
Phil and Ronnie Spector had a tumultuous marriage that concerned loss of life threats. Nonetheless, earlier than his violent temperament would ship sparks flying, theirs was a relationship that sparked musical ingenuity.
Redferns

Phil would assist convey Ronnie and the Ronettes chart-topping success with hit tunes from “Be My Child” and “Child, I Love You” (each 1963), to “The Finest A part of Breakin’ Up” and “Strolling within the Rain” (each 1964). The pair tied the knot in 1968, and the Ronettes known as it quits shortly thereafter.

Ronnie’s reps didn’t reply to The Put up’s request for remark.

ronnie Spector
Phil and Ronnie Spector in Westwood, California, in 1972.

In Ronnie’s 1990 memoir “Be My Child: How I Survived Mascara, Miniskirts, and Insanity,” she wrote that, whereas she admired her ex-husband’s musical genius, he was vindictive, controlling and violent.

Within the guide, she additionally mentions that he really stored a gold coffin of their basement and informed her he would kill her if she tried to depart him.

“I can solely say that once I left within the early ’70s, I knew that if I didn’t depart at the moment, I used to be going to die there,” she wrote.

The guide additional particulars how Phil stored her locked away in his California mansion, the place he subjected her to harsh psychological abuse. In 1972, with the assistance of her mom, she made a run for it, barefoot, and barely escaped along with her life.

Ronnie informed People in 2018 about her mother’s assist and her ordeal: “She stated, ‘I’m your mom and I’m telling you, we gotta get out of right here. Otherwise you, my little lady, are going to be gone.’”

Ronnie Spector
Ronnie Spector was inducted into the Rock & Roll Corridor of Fame in 2007.
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The “Love On a Rooftop” musician continued, “It was so dark again in these days. Now I be happy now to have the ability to inform different girls. Possibly not each lady will pay attention to me, however some will and I [hope] I can get one or two to save their [own] lives or save them from getting abused.”

On account of their 1974 separation, Phil acquired custody of their three adopted youngsters — Donté Phillip and twins Louis and Gary. The document producer compelled her to signal her life away within the divorce settlement and lower her out of future document earnings.

By that time, she had accused him of pulling a gun on her and reported that he had threatened to rent a success man to homicide her.

Phil Spector
Phil Spector introduced fame to the Ronettes after he signed them in 1963.
Michael Ochs Archives

A long time after their divorce, Phil nonetheless felt as if he had some form of management over Ronnie. He led a marketing campaign in 2007 to bar her from being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

“You’d assume he might need targeted on his homicide trial,” the singer informed The Put up on the time.

The couple’s three adopted youngsters additionally reportedly suffered abuse and trauma from the producer behind the Wall of Sound recording method. Donté Phillip claimed in a 2003 Mail on Sunday interview that the trio was abused by Phil and described their relationship with him as a “skinny line between love and hate.”

He additionally alleged that Phil trapped him and his brothers of their bedrooms “with locks on the door.”

Phil Spector
Phil Spector in court docket throughout his homicide trial in March 2009.
Getty Pictures

When Phil finally handed away on the age of 81, Ronnie spoke out about his death. “It’s a tragic day for music and a tragic day for me,” she wrote on social media on the time.

“After I was working with Phil Spector, watching him create within the recording studio, I knew I used to be working with the easiest. He was in full management, directing everybody. A lot to love about these days,” she continued. “Assembly him and falling in love was like a fairytale. The magical music we had been in a position to make collectively, was impressed by our love. I cherished him madly, and gave my coronary heart and soul to him.”

In maybe the understatement of the century, Ronnie added that, though her ex was “a superb producer,” he was “a awful husband.” She appeared to be at peace with the position he performed in her profession.

“Sadly Phil was not in a position to reside and performance exterior of the recording studio. Darkness set in, many lives had been broken. I nonetheless smile every time I hear the music we made collectively, and all the time will. The music can be ceaselessly.”

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