By Besha Rodell
By Patrick Range McDonald
By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
Besides her fascination with Monroe, who’d committed suicide in 1962, Clarkson was obsessed by the story of another woman, an unsuccessful actress who killed herself in the 1930s at the same Hollywoood Hills home Clarkson once shared with roommates. Plourd also disclosed the fact that although Clarkson described herself as a “social drinker” on one of her medical-history forms, elsewhere she admitted using drugs when she was 13 and drinking 17 shots of tequila when she was 17. When Plourd pointedly asked Dr. Peña if he thought that constituted social drinking, the coroner simply turned to the jurors and explained Clarkson’s alcohol and Vicodin tolerance in layman’s terms: “It’s like taking a shower. You jump in the shower and you know how you get used to it? Someone might get in there with you and say, ‘Hey, this is too cold for me,’ but you’ve adjusted to it. The same applies to drug use and is called tolerance.”
Plourd spent part of Thursday afternoon channeling Lana Clarkson by reading her words and projecting her handwriting, but spectators heard another surprise voice from beyond that day— Bruce Cutler’s. After a rather testy hearing out of the jury’s presence, Judge Fidler ruled against Plourd’s attempt to quote some of Phil Spector’s less-deranged crime-night statements to the jurors — only to have Cutler, who has been benched for weeks, suddenly begin haggling with the judge. An electric current of excitement ran through the court as spectators remembered why the New York lawyer had been hired in the first place. Here was Cutler being Cutler, not taking no for an answer, talking over the very same judge who’d previously warned Cutler about interrupting him.
“Can it come in a vanilla way, a generic way?” Cutler asked about admitting Spector’s statements. Fidler, more surprised than annoyed, eventually told Cutler no meant no.
By the end of Thursday, Dr. Peña, his testimony finished for the week, sat in the hall guzzling water from a bottle, his tie and jacket off, looking very much like a man who needed a shower. Or 17 shots of tequila.
More Phil Noir:
Hassle in the Castle The night the cops had Phil Spector by the short hairs
Murder As a Second Language As questions about defense attorney Bruce Cutler’s effectiveness circulate, immigrant witnesses place new accents on shooting timeline
Marlowe vs. CSI? The Tycoon of Teen’s Gun Problem The Phil Spector verdict is months away and Bruce Cutler’s wardrobe has not yet begun to fight.Accidental Suicide Guns, slips and semioticsA Spectator at the Spector Trial Tell it to the judge: Bruce Cutler's California adventure
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