Will Hbo Film Whitewash Phil Spector?
Recent comments by writer-director David Mamet that he believes onetime record producer Phil Spector is not guilty of the murder of actress Lana Clarkson have infuriated Clarkson's friends. Interviewed by the London Financial Times about his upcoming HBO film about Spector, which stars Al Pacino as Spector, Mamet said, "I don't think he's guilty. I definitely think there is reasonable doubt. ... They should never have sent him away. ... If he'd just been a regular citizen, they never would have indicted him." On Wednesday, the gossip website TMZ reported that Clarkson's friends have fired off a letter to Mamet in which they express concern that "the loathsome, lying, gun-abusing convicted murderer of our friend Lana Clarkson will be portrayed with some kind of sympathy." Their letter concludes "Please refrain from rewriting history for 'creative license.'" On Wednesday, Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson, who prosecuted Spector, responded to Mamet's remarks. "When presented with all the facts, an objective and unbiased jury found Mr. Spector guilty of Lana Clarkson's murder," he said in a statement. "Subsequently, a panel of appellate justices determined that Mr. Spector's conviction was just and proper, citing 'overwhelming evidence' of his guilt. ... The true injustice was suffered by Lana Clarkson, and continues to be suffered by her family and those who love and miss her." HBO has not commented on the matter but executives of the pay-TV network must certainly have been long aware of Mamet's sympathies. Last October he told New York magazine, "There's no way he killed that girl. He got convicted of 'I don't like you.'"