As far as pink flags go, Ronnie Spector’s tumultuous marriage to Phil Spector was the largest and reddest of all of them.
Phil was convicted within the 2003 homicide of actress Lana Clarkson and died in jail final yr. But 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 in the end wound up turning 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 quick battle with most cancers. But within the years previous her demise, the musician was open about her traumatic relationship with Phil, who first signed her band in 1963.
Phil would assist convey Ronnie and the Ronettes chart-topping success with hit tunes from “Be My Baby” and “Baby, I Love You” (each 1963), to “The Best Part of Breakin’ Up” and “Walking in the Rain” (each 1964). The pair tied the knot in 1968, and the Ronettes referred to as it quits shortly thereafter.
Ronnie’s reps didn’t reply to The Post’s request for remark.
In Ronnie’s 1990 memoir “Be My Baby: How I Survived Mascara, Miniskirts, and Madness,” she wrote that, whereas she admired her ex-husband’s musical genius, he was vindictive, controlling and violent.
In the e book, she additionally mentions that he really saved a gold coffin of their basement and instructed her he would kill her if she tried to depart him.
“I can only say that when I left in the early ’70s, I knew that if I didn’t leave at that time, I was going to die there,” she wrote.
The e book additional particulars how Phil saved 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 instructed People in 2018 about her mother’s help and her ordeal: “She said, ‘I’m your mother and I’m telling you, we gotta get out of here. Or you, my little girl, are going to be gone.’”
The “Love On a Rooftop” musician continued, “It was so dark back in those days. Now I feel free now to be able to tell other women. Maybe not every woman will listen to me, but some will and I [hope] I can get one or two to save their [own] lives or save them from getting abused.”
As a results of their 1974 separation, Phil received custody of their three adopted youngsters — Donté Phillip and twins Louis and Gary. The file producer pressured her to signal her life away within the divorce settlement and lower her out of future file earnings.
By that time, she had accused him of pulling a gun on her and reported that he had threatened to rent successful man to homicide her.
Decades after their divorce, Phil nonetheless felt as if he had some kind 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 think he might have focused on his murder trial,” the singer instructed The Post on the time.
The couple’s three adopted kids 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 “thin line between love and hate.”
He additionally alleged that Phil trapped him and his brothers of their bedrooms “with locks on the door.”
When Phil ultimately handed away on the age of 81, Ronnie spoke out about his demise. “It’s a sad day for music and a sad day for me,” she wrote on social media on the time.
“When I was working with Phil Spector, watching him create in the recording studio, I knew I was working with the very best. He was in complete control, directing everyone. So much to love about those days,” she continued. “Meeting him and falling in love was like a fairytale. The magical music we were able to make together, was inspired by our love. I loved him madly, and gave my heart and soul to him.”
In maybe the understatement of the century, Ronnie added that, though her ex was “a brilliant producer,” he was “a lousy husband.” She appeared to be at peace with the function he performed in her profession.
“Unfortunately Phil was not able to live and function outside of the recording studio. Darkness set in, many lives were damaged. I still smile whenever I hear the music we made together, and always will. The music will be forever.”